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  CSPAN    Capitol Hill Hearings    News/Business.  

    March 7, 2013
    8:00 - 1:00am EST  

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>> coming up tonight, the senate holds a meeting on gun legislation. that is followed by the un security council on north korea. that is followed by un security council members on policy towards north korea. the senate judiciary committee today passed a bill on gun trafficking largely along party lines. the legislation toughens penalties for those who buy guns for those who cannot legally own them. they also began debate on an assault weapons ban offered by out for new senator diane feinstein. this markup is an hour and 40 minutes.
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>> good morning. we have one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine senators. i think, senator grassley, we can get going. first off i want to thank senator paul for having a filibuster which kept everybody still in town so we can have a quorom to talk about guns that may not have been his number one reason for doing it, but we take ancillary benefits wherever they come from. last week we all had the opportunity to talk about legislation before the committee regarding gun violence in america.
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we gave our speeches. and i hope we could make significant progress. earlier this week i was joined by senator collins, senator durbin, gillibrand, and senator kirk in the introduction revised legislation to combat the straw purchasing and trafficking of firearms. others have joined us in that bill including senator clow chew char, senator king, and i'll plan when we get on it i'll offer a substitute we find the provisions with the text of the leahy-collins bill. i reach out to the senators, those discussions bore fruit. the substitute incorporates a pending bills provision, and its creation of a specific crime for straw purchasing designed to prevent criminals from using straw purchasers who can pass a background check and then hand those firearms to the criminals.
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straw purchasers circumvent the purpose of the background check system, and we have found many everything from drug gangs to others who have used guns that the gang members could not have bought but the straw purchaser has. straw purchasing is done only to get a gun in the hands of somebody who is prohibited from having one. i think we need a meaningful solution to this problem. as substitute we include suggestions, senator gillibrand, to require those that traffic in firearms by wrongfully obtaining two or more firearms, and we'll give law enforcement more effective tools. the substitute also incorporates a number of changes, the result of suggestions from senator grassley and his staff. we have been working on this since january.
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tried to be responsive to the ranking member's concerns and suggestions, and have reached across the aisle to other senators. as an a.t.f. whistleblower, senator grassley has been the lead senator in whistleblower legislation, was an a.t.f. whistleblower, who testified last congress that the existing laws are toothless and they can't help law enforcement, and that's why law enforcement consistently has called for firearms trafficking statute that can be effective and go after straw purchasers. we need now is to create better law enforcement tools. and i think this will -- the senators can join together on this will close a very dangerous loophole in the law that mexican drug cartels and gangs and other criminals have exploited for too long.
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stop illegal trafficking. the firearms act is important. this week the "usa today" ran a front page story about a study that estimates gun violence costs americans $12 billion, $12 billion a year. i don't care whether it's $12 billion or $10 billion or $2 billion, we ought to do what we can in this committee to mitigate those unnecessary costs. i want to yield to senator grassley and then we'll take -- i think we have four or five nominees prepared to go forward. senator grassley. >> i would like to suggest three steps here.
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one would be to take care of the nominations. the other one i have an issue that i'd like to just make a statement on. and then i have a general statement on this whole issue of the four different bills, and i would like to have any of my members that want to make statements just before you bring up the legislation and then have debate on the legislation. >> obviously i'll give time -- i think we tried last week to get as many of those statements, including mine and yours, out of the way, but naturally i'll yield to people who wish to make statements. some are going down for the bill signing, and others i do not want to lose a quorom. go ahead. >> as you can see from the absence on my side except for maybe three of the newer members, we all have people that have responsibilities in other committees.
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that's why i bring that up. let me say that we are able to, i think, unless one of the members wants a vote? i think we can do all the nominations by voice vote. why don't we do that first? >> you want a roll call? >> we do not need a roll call now. i have been informed by that one member. >> i would -- why don't we -- i appreciate your cooperation. i would ask consent that we consider sherry shapell, michael j. mcshane, nitza alejandro, luis strapo and jeffrey schmell. all of those in favor say aye. >> aye.
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>> opposed? the ayes will be unanimous. and shapell, mcshane, alejandro, strapo and schmell.will be rep orted to the floor. >> following up on that i would like to bring up something you brought up yesterday at a hearing i very much appreciate your bringing up. and that is at the oversight hearing with general holder there was a significant discussion about the oil sea memoranda regarding targeting killings americans abroad. chairman leahy and i wrote to president obama on february 7, one month ago, asking that he instruct the attorney general to provide these memoranda to the judiciary committee. i don't think -- at least i haven't, i don't think the chairman's received a response. i wanted to highlight a statement that chairman leahy made to general holder yesterday regarding the possibility that
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this committee subpoena the documents. i want everybody, both republican and democrat, to know i fully support the chairman in this effort and would urge that absence a response from the president that we move forward with a vote on subpoena for these memoranda in the near future. then i'll go to my statement. i'm not asking you to comment, but at least you know how i feel about it. but i think you feel strongly about it or you wouldn't have brought it up. >> i also spoke again with the attorney general now going into private conversation, i think that he's -- he would like us to be able to see that and i think the decision we remains within the white house. i'm sorry they haven't even responded to our letter, but if need be we will subpoena because it is a matter, and we are going to have, for those of you who weren't there at the hearing
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when we talked about this, we are going to have a hearing on domestic use of drones in this committee. it would be helpful to have that, helpful but not necessary to have that letter prior to that time, but we are going to have many of you on both sides of the aisle have raised concerns about the domestic use of drones and we will have a significant hearing on that. thank you. >> the committee and subcommittee have held three hearings and legislation related to our purpose of voting bills out today. while i believe that addressing violence requires examining more than guns, guns were the near exclusive focus of those hearings and will be the near exclusive focus of the bills the committee sees fit to mark up. all of us were strongly affected by what happened in newtown. all of us want to take effective
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action to prevent future tragedies, but we have different deeply held approaches to do so. what we are talking about today is freedom, freedom not only guaranteed by the constitution but what the supreme court recognized as a pre-existing right of self-defense. individuals do not need the government's permission to defend themselves. today gun violence rates are at the lowest level in 50 years. this is a tremendous accomplishment. there are many reasons for it, including longer incarceration of dangerous criminals, abolition of parole, and police practices. this drop in gun violence has occurred even as there are more guns in the country than ever before. it has occurred after the supreme court has found the second amendment to be a fundamental right, and after many states have increased the ability of law-abiding citizens
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to own guns. the drop has also occurred despite any new federal gun control enactment in almost 20 years. but a majority of the committee seems determined to impose more gun restrictions on law-abiding citizens. consider the assault weapons ban. this bill represents the biggest gun ban proposal in our history. a similar ban was enacted in 1994. and the justice department's own studies failed to show that the ban had any effect. some of my colleagues speak, we invite demonled rumsfeld on this point and i quote him, absent of evidence isn't evidence of absence. but the assault weapon ban did not work. and just this year the deputy director of the national institute of justice wrote that, quote, an assault weapons ban is unlikely to have an impact on gun violence. but rather than trying something different, the first bill on the agenda is an assault weapons
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ban. it is based on how guns look not the damage they do. an ar-15 is prohibited while a mini 14 is exempt because one has a wooden stock and the other a plastic one. other guns that are more powerful than prohibited guns are exempted. the guns that it bans are not ones that are used in the military, as they are semiautomatic. they are in common use. and banning large capacity magazines last fails a rational basis scrutiny when the bill exempts a class of shotguns that can be continuously reloaded. the bill is not like passing a law that criminalizes speeding. it is like banning the manufacturer of cars with hood ornaments from having the capacity of exceeding 65 miles per hour while exempting trucks from the same requirement.
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at the hearings the justice department did not endorse a specific ban, but said that nonetheless that a ban could be constitutional. they did not suggestion what level of scrutiny courts would apply to a bill with second amendment implications. they also said that they would develop an analysis of the bill's constitutionality, but it speaks volumes when we are about to mark up such a bill and that analysis is not forthcoming. i think it is necessary to point out that had this bill been law at the time, sandy hook still would have happened. it would not have stopped a mentally disturbed person while stealing a gun that this bill would have not banned from his mother and then shooting unharmed children at a school for several minutes before police arrived. on background checks without notice we were given an entirely new bill late yesterday.
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i know the sponsor says that he does not intend to create a national gun registry, and i accept that as his intent. i would just say that the deputy director of n.i.j. recently wrote that universal background checks can be enforced only if there is gun registration. i note that at the hearings some stated that criminals are foiled from buying guns because they do not go to gun stores to buy guns. they recognize that prohibited persons do not now submit the background checks although they obtain guns which is why they want to expand checks. but they fail to recognize that criminals won't be any more likely to submit to expanded background checks than they are currently. they will go around supposedly
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universal checks to steal guns or buy them in the black market. when the universal background checks don't work, then registration will be proposed to enforce them. when that doesn't work, because criminals won't register their guns, we may be looking at confiscation. there is a refusal to consider that gun control of law-abiding citizens does not work. if gun control worked, we would expect to see that places with stricter gun laws would have less crime than those where it was easier for law-abiding citizens to have guns. instead, law-abiding citizens obey the laws and criminals don't. and those areas with gun control often have more crime. under federalism, state and localities are laboratories of experimentation. results of different approaches come in and then the federal government learns which laws work better than others as it considers national legislation. but that is not what is argued for gun control.
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we are asked to adopt nationally the policies that have not worked at the state and local level. we are told that poor results in places with gun control are due to more lenient gun rules elsewhere in the vicinity, but if that were true one would expect more crime in the suburbs where guns are lawfully available than cities where there are not. and the states where guns are not easily able to be purchased than in states where they are not. however, this is not the case. restrictions on gun rights of law-abiding citizens do not work. again, rather than trying to approach a different approach, supporters of gun control not only want to double down on failed strategy, they want to impose on the nation as a whole despite the second amendment. i do think that action can be taken on gun trafficking and straw purchasing, but because those are actions by criminals and occur across state lines, i am glad that we have a bill on that subject on the agenda.
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i appreciate the efforts of the chairman and other senators to be receptive to changes to the original legislation. and when that bill comes up, i'll speak about that. the final bill on the agenda is school safety bill. that bill originally had an enormous cost at time when we were entering a sequester. however senator boxer and senator warner, the bill's sponsors, have shown flexibility on spending amounts and other issues, and so i want them to know that i appreciate those efforts. mr. chairman, republicans will make sure that we get the finality on these bills, and not meaning any criticism they were not ready to be considered last week, we will raise a fairly small number of amendments which is how the committee process works. we are not standing in the way of any of these bills from being voted in a timely fashion. a number of members on the democrat side made statements
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about these bills last week and i know that members on my side would like to at this point. thank you very much. >> thank you. i appreciate the cooperation. bring up s-54, the trafficking bill. stop illegal trafficking in firearms act. and following normal procedure, i will amend it with my substitute which is based on the text of the leahy-collins bill. i assume there is no objection to the substitute. it's a bill -- without objection. the bill as amended by the substitute is now opened for further discussion and amendment. >> if i could, i would start the discussion.
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before i make a statement, i think -- i have not talked to senator sessions. i talked to senator cornyn. you folks want to make statements overall or you're ready to go to straw purchasing bill? it's on the agenda now. so the chairman has the right to bring it up. or do you want to go right to this? >> i have statements on both, but i'd be happy to address the straw purchasing bill first. >> how about you, senator sessions? >> i'll proceed with the amendment process. >> we are ready to go on your bill. can i speak now? >> sure. go ahead. >> ok. i greatly appreciate the substitute amendment. i have offered an amendment to the bill which i will discuss separately. federal legislation needed on subjects of straw purchasing and gun trafficking will strengthen efforts to combat illicit firearms. when i conducted my oversight of the justice department failed operations fast and furious, i
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was told by whistle blowers that there were gaps in federal laws concerning straw purchasers which should be addressed, and this is our opportunity to do it. mr. chairman, you have worked with me on your bill making many changes at my request. they have made the bill better and reduced the negative side effects of previous versions. i trust you think so as well because you have included the changes in the new bill. the new bill in your substitute amendment also included a revised bill by senators gillibrand and kirk on the subject of gun trafficking. those revisions also reflect changes that i asked senator gillibrand to make, and i think it would be worthwhile to outline all the changes that have been made to the bill since they were first introduced. i think they demonstrate good faith of the chairman and senator gillibrand. for instance, senator gillibrand's bill originally would have made it a federal crime to transfer two or more
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guns if that person knew that the result would be a violation of state or local law. that would have given states and localities a one-way incentive to address new gun control measures and force the cost of prosecution and incarceration on the federal government. it also would have created for the first time a situation in which violation of state criminal law was an element of federal offense. she took that provision out at my request. i raised similar concerns about the language in the chairman's bill and you also removed that language. senator gillibrand also accepted major and minor drafting suggestions, including clarifying what intent was necessary to commit a crime, harmonizing penalties, changing the gift exception, altering the directive for the sentencing commission, and others. chairman has also made changes to his bill at my request compared to when senate s.
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54 was originally introduced, it is now directed only at straw purchasers not at all transfers on behalf of another. this allows people to buy for people as part of a legitimate business, it preserves private sales. now the bill goes to actual straw purchasers, those who purchase a gun on behalf of a prohibited person. like senator gillibrand, you harmonize penalties at my request and removed references to federalizing violation of state or local law. you made changes regarding sales to persons who do not reside in the state. you took out language concerning materiality of false statements on the forms. separated the rules for purchase from licensed dealers from those of private sales. also, limiting the bill to engaging indirectly in the
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conduct that is already illegal. you have protected the right of law-abiding citizens as i have outlined in ways that i believe were not protected in either the original straw purchasing bill or the original trafficking bill. as a result of the changes to each bill and to their combination in the substitute, the bill now covers only criminals and not law-abiding citizens. since you have shown good faith, i will now demonstrate mine as well. some on my side believe the bill needs more work to resolve outstanding issues between now and when the bill goes to the floor. that is something that i hope will happen with the chairman's help. with that understanding and if my amendment is adopted, i will vote to report your bill out today. i thank you for what you have done so far, mr. chairman. >> thank you. i appreciate that. you and i have worked closely on this as we have on a number of things. our bill is tough on criminals.
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it's crafted so it won't sweep in private seller and buyer of firearms. but it's done in way that we can deter those who abuse the trust of a firearms dealer by engaging in straw purchasing. you noted a lot of your concerns are reflected in my substitute amendment. i understand the intent behind the amendment that you are raising. i am concerned the amendment could unduly hamper other law enforcement operations that are properry supervised. including terrorism and drug investigations. we all agree that the government
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should never permit guns to be transferred to dangerous criminals. this happened in fast and furious. but sometimes to combat straw purchases the government has to o be given latitude to act on a tip and arrest a straw purchaser upon or immediately after a sale, but having said that, i we'll continue to work together prior to the time the bill comes to the floor. if there is no objection i'm prepared to accept your amendment. >> i offer the amendment. since you said what you just said, i'm going to put my statement in the record. let me say that i'm willing to consider reasonable changes to my amendment provided the changes don't harm the goals of holding the department of justice accountable for gun operations where veps could walk. -- where weapons could walk.
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fast and furious was a debacle that will haunt the department of justice for decades. these operations need oversight and accountability. and from that point on oversight and accountability, i think that's an area where i have to draw the line if you'll take that into consideration. >> without objection, the bill is amended by the amendment of the senator from iowa. are there other amendments? >> mr. chairman. >> senator cornyn. >> mr. chairman, i believe that stop illegal trafficking firearms act of 2013 which would create several new criminal penalties and amend statutory authorities to target weapons trafficking -- >> excuse me, if the senator would withhold just a second. senator hatch has a statement he wants to include in the record. >> without objection. >> also, clarify the amendment we just accepted was senator
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grassley was alb-13193. >> yes. >> my concern is that this bill is a solution in search of a problem. straw purchasing for purpose of directing guns to people who cannot legally attain them is already a crime. so we double down and say this time we really mean it. when in fact the real problem, i think, in many instances, is the lack of prosecution of existing crimes by the department of justice. as i have said earlier and i'll say again, i have a hard time explaining to my constituents back home how passing more laws that will go unenforced make them any safer. while i understand the desire to
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act to seem like we are doing something, i worry about the disconnect between the action and any solution to the problems that we all are concerned about. i also worry, mr. chairman, that this legislation which has been shared with my staff, i understand, about the last 36 hours, we haven't had an adequate opportunity to try to vet it and understand what its ramifications might be, and my hope would be that there would be some additional time offered that we could try to work with your staff and work on a bipartisan basis to address the concerns we have. for example -- >> you're talking about the amendment that was introduced and circulated on monday? today is thursday. >> my staff advises it was circulated yesterday. >> it was introduced on monday.
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>> my staff tells me we got it yesterday. the point is, let me just give you an example. for instance, the bill would make it a crime punishable by up to 20 years in prison for a person to attempt or plan to buy a firearm as a gift or raffle item. if the person neglectly fails to know that the recipient is prohibited from purchasing a firearm. in other words, this bill would make it a serious felony for an american legion employee to neglectly transfer a raffled firearm to a veteran who unknown to the transferor suffers from ptsd. that example, and i'm sure there are others, causes me concern that we are getting ready to vote on a piece of legislation when we really don't know what the scope or the consequences of the legislation are.
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which to me counsels taking our time and making sure we understand what the impact will be rather than passing legislation that will have unintended consequences that none of us would endorse, but which in our haste to try to do we are doing something, we end up creating that unintended consequence. >> you're talking about your amendment atm-13249, is that correct? >> i'm talking about s-54 stop illegal trafficking -- >> i understand. are you introducing an amendment? >> i have not offered an amendment. >> if there are no amendments, then the clerk will call the roll on s-54 as amended. >> i wanted to share something
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on that. mr. chairman, i do express concern about the penalties in this legislation is difficult to write. i know the chair has worked hard on it. i have some concerns about it. in general i support the concept of what you're doing. i think the department of justice has said there are areas in which they are not able to effectively enforce these laws. and they need better legislation. and i'm inclined to think that that's so. although i would note to my colleagues that if you provide a gun to someone that's intending to use it in a drug crime or problemry or a murder, you're an -- or robbery or murder, you're an aider and abettor which makes you chargeable with a murder, or part of a conspiracy to do that and you're chargeable in that way. and that's the way it's normally
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prosecuted today. so if you go into a gun dealer and certify and the 4473 form, i have prosecuted these cases, if you lie on that form, you are subject to a false statement and the penalties are in the code set forth. i suppose if the person leaves the country like in the situation we had at the border where these guns go into another country, it's difficult. all you got left is a violation of the paperwork regulation. that may not be sufficient to properly punish a person. or it may leave you -- fundamentally i think you have some valuable legislation here. but i am a bit troubled by the size of the penalty. i know the chair wants to be tough on this, but at the same time we want to be consistent with other penalties. carrying a firearm during a drug
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offense is five years. if you brandish it and threaten somebody, it's 10 years. mandatory minimum. so you've got 15 years in this offense for providing a gun to somebody who may use it illegally, which would be -- i'm not sure that that's coherent with our -- >> are you saying i'm being too tough? >> maybe. really. of course some of this will be decided by the sentencing guidelines. >> most of the people i prosecuted back in vermont thought i was too tough, too. >> i have always been aggressive in prosecuting these cases. i would say to you i would just share my concern about that issue. think we could fix it and probably solve some problems.
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>> ok. the clerk will -- >> mr. chairman, could i just ask one last question? >> of course. >> is it the intent of the authors of the bill to make it a crime punishable for up to 20 years for a person to attempt or plan to buy a firearm as a gift or raffle item the person neglectly fails to know the recipient is prohibited from purchasing a firearm? for example? >> no, we -- >> an american legion employee-- >> we drafted it -- >> unknown to the transferor suffers from ptsd is that the intent of the authors of the legislation? >> no. >> that is the result of this legislation which i suggest is not -- we need to take our time to make sure we understand what we are doing here. and the problem is senator grassley's amendment was offered just a few moments ago, which you accepted, and i appreciate the fact that you all are able to work together so well, and this committee should be working together, but to jam through legislation that we don't know what the consequences are which
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would criminalize this american legion employee i think is not our intention. but that is the result of the legislation of everyone who votes in favor of this bill as currently written. that can't be our purpose. >> and that is not the way the legislation is written. you and i have a different view of that, but it's not the way the legislation is written. it is not the way the legislation is intended. we'll have plenty of time before this matter comes on the floor. if you convince me that you're right and i'm wrong on this, i'll be happy to consider an amendment, even further clarification, but we have been very careful to be sure we don't sweep in innocent transfers between private buyer of the nature you are talking about. the other senator from texas. >> mr. chairman, i wanted to thank the chairman for his good and hard work on this bill, and i think this bill has the
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potential for providing some real bipartisan agreement. i think from the beginning members of this committee on both sides of the aisle have agreed that efforts to focus on violent criminals should be the primary area of focus for preventing violent gun crime. i think this bill takes steps in that direction. i agree with the senior senator from texas that i have concerns that certain language, particularly the language in 932 could potentially sweep too broadly and could potentially sweep in innocent purchasers rather than those knowingly participating in violent crime and knowingly aiding those who would participate in violent crime from acquiring firearms. i do think there is potential. before this bill is voted on in
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the floor of the senate to reach some bipartisan agreement that could end up having wide agreement. so i thank the chairman for that and i think -- language can be narrowed so we can be sure not to sweep in innocent conduct. i think we could find wide agreement in the underlying framework here. >> i come from the state where the kind of innocent purchase back and forth you talked about often happened. as you know i'm a gun owner. i spend a lot of time with my fellow gun owners, and one of-- i don't know if i'm' the only person in this committee, but i'm probably one of the few who have a pistol range in my back beyond a reasonable doubt which backyard which i use except when we have two feet of snow. so i'll be happy to sit down with you.
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i'm wondering -- we have a lot ahead of us. if we have the clerk call the roll. >> let me say one thing. >> 15 seconds. >> what the senator -- two senators from texas have brought up are concerns that i have had, and that's what i have been trying to work for. obviously i haven't satisfied these two senators, but i just want you to know those were the things that we have been trying to solve here and hopefully we have solved them. but i'll have to try to convince you of that. but i'll still work to help you get changes made if you think they ought to be made. >> mr. chairman -- >> senator sessions, you wish to be heard again? >> i believe the language you used is reasonable cause to believe that they might be unable to receive a firearm, which is pretty close to what senator cornyn says is negligence.
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so you've got some cause to believe your brother-in-law may have had -- been convicted of a felony or may have -- dealing -- selling drugs. you brought him a gun and if he used the gun during a drug offense, he gets five years. but if you sell the gun to him you can get 15. >> my brother-in-law is a well respected catholic priest and professor. >> that's too broad a language and i hope to be able to support the legislation. we can talk about it. thank you for allowing us to continue this negotiation. for today i would record a no vote. >> i have tried to follow existing law, the clerk will call the roll. >> mrs. feinstein. >> aye. >> mr. schumer. >> aye. >> mr. durbin.
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>> aye. >> mr. whitehouse. >> aye. >> miss klobuchar. >> aye. >> mr. franken. >> aye. >> mr. graham. >> no by proxy. >> mr. cornyn. >> no. >> mr. lee. >> no by proxy. >> mr. chairman. >> aye. >> mr. chairman votes are 11 yeas, seven nays. >> the senator from texas. >> so you don't think i'm trying to pull your leg, there was a
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complete substitute -- >> you're not the one that talked about my brother-in-law. >> there was a complete substitute at your office at 4:16 yesterday. is when we got the language. >> i was on the floor introducing it on monday. >> i'm not saying you personally delivered it to our office. i'm saying your shop emailed it to our office at 4:16 yesterday. that's my only point. thank you. >> all right. and trust me my brother-in-law's a good guy. >> i had the honor of meeting your brother-in-law. >> i know you have. and he's done the prayer at the opening of the session several times. i must say just for -- it has nothing to do with this thing, but one of the things that he's found the biggest thrill when he has been the visiting clergyman for the senate is being able to spend the day on the floor. and so many senators, republicans and democrats alike, have come up to talk to him. i did point out that he's much nicer than his brother-in-law, more like his sister. i yield to senator feinstein who has s-150. senator feinstein. >> thank you very much.
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mr. chairman. i want to -- thank you very much, mr. chairman. i want to thank you for allowing me to hold the hearing. i want to just report to you that we heard from one bereft and grieving father who lost a precious son at sandy hook. we heard from the trauma surgeon there who took care of their bodies and talked about what these weapons with the bullets do when they explode inside the body. we heard from the head of the united states conference of mayors, mayor nutter of baltimore -- excuse me of philadelphia who assured us of their support. we heard from chief flynn of baltimore who assured us of the support of the chiefs and talked about his city. i want to acknowledge the presence of chief johnson of the baltimore county police department's here.
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and we had a demonstration of a slide fire stock placed in an ar-15, which was able to alternate the gun between semiautomatic and fully automatic fire, excuse me, chief flynn is from milwaukee. i have been very concerned because the calls have been coming in as if this is some kind of wild-eyed scheme. it is not. every single poll that has been done in the united states has shown that a majority of people favor this legislation. we have endorsements from virtually every religious organization, every medical organization, mayors, police, women's movement supporting this legislation.
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and yet it's as if we have a minority unsubstantial piece of legislation. whether it's a johns hopkins poll, 69%, mayors against illegal guns at 81%. it's been a very hard road. there's been argument by the opposition this measure is unconstitutional. i deeply believe that it is not unconstitutional. it is basically formed from the prior legislation. legislation which survived testings -- tests in the fourth, in the sixth, in the ninth circuit and the d.c. circuit. no assault weapons legislation statewide in this country ever has been found unconstitutional. and the heller decision clearly stated, and i quote, the rights secured by the second amendment is not unlimited, end quote. and, quote, dangerous and unusual weapons, quote, could be
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prohibited. since heller state assault weapons, as i said, have been upheld and no court that i am aware of has ever found an assault weapons ban to be unconstitutional. over 50 distinguished constitutional law professors, including conservatives and libertarians from our nation's leading law schools, including harvard, stanford, yale, and chicago signed a statement confirming that an assault weapons ban is constitutional. i particularly want to thank the co-sponsors on this committee. i want to acknowledge the long- standing support of the man who presented the ban in the house of representatives over 10 years ago. the distinguished senator from new york. i want to point out that senator durbin's support in the committee was really strong and appreciated.
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and i want to thank virtually all of the other co-sponsors in this room. i want to just point out that i carefully watched senator blumenthal. i saw his care. i saw his -- and senator murphy, too, his representation of that deeply affected community in connecticut and i just want you to know i have deepest respect goes to you for what has been a very hard venture. i'm particularly grateful for your support of this legislation. now, what does this legislation do? it bans specific assault weapons by name. 157 in this instance. it protects the rights of gun owners to possess weapons for legitimate hunting and sporting and defense uses. by excluding many more weapons by make and model, over 2,000 of them. it grandfathers all present weapons.
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if they are transferred, it subjects the transferee to a background test. it does not require registration. it applies to military characteristics test to judge future weapons to prevent gun manufacturers from evading the ban by simply changing the name of the weapon. or a physical characteristic of the weapon. we tried to learn from the last bill and refine this bill to avoid the problems of gun manufacturers simply getting around the bill. the features that we use were originally developed for military weapons for one reason, to make the weapon more effective and efficient at killing people in combat situations.
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as chief flynn of the milwaukee police department testified last week, and i quote, assault weapons are built to inflict violence against humans. their military characteristics are not simply cause matic in nature. these weapons are designed for combat. i have watched even police departments get outgunned. in the nine years i was mayor of san francisco we started out with police issue being a .38 caliber revolver. we have seen that escalate. we have seen shotguns be removed from squad cars and replaced with assault weapons. why? because of an increasingly armed criminal element that police often have to go up against. i watched as the los angeles police department had to break in to a gun store to take weapons to be able to counter what was going up against them following a robbery in los angeles.
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i don't know why anyone would object to drying up the supply of these weapons over time. they are not good hunting weapons. many states have limits on the number of bullets that can be on a clip. and who's going to respect a hunter with a 30-round clip and an assault weapon going after a deer? i certainly am not one that would. so the intention of this is to dry up the supply over time. while homicides in general are down in this country, mass killings are not. and the fact is that these assault weapons have a great attraction for grievance killers, the people that go into law offices as they did in san francisco and shoot down 14 people, the man who went into the aurora theater just to kill people with 100-round drum in an assault weapon. and we have seen it in
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universities, we have seen them in elementary schools, and now we have seen them used against first graders. the time has come, america, to step up and ban these weapons. yeah, they are very important part of this bill is -- the other very important part of this bill is to ban large capacity ammunition feeding devices. those that hold over 10 rounds. we have federal regulations and state laws that prohibit hunting ducks with more than three rounds, yet its legal to hunt humans with 15 round, 30 round, even 150-round magazines. limiting magazine capacity is critical because it is when a criminal, a drug dealer, a deranged individual has to pause to change magazines and reload that the police or brave bystanders have the opportunity to take that individual down. we saw the scenario happen in
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tucson, arizona, where the madman who shot our former colleague, gabby giffords, was taken down when he had to change magazines. so my view is that how could i stand by and see this carnage go on? and members, this isn't going to stop. it's going to continue on. and we have a chance to do something about it. i cannot tell you how much i was -- i was mayor of san francisco for nine years. i walked into places i saw the carnage firsthand. and at that time i really dedicated the rest of my life to do something about it. so this is an opportunity. i want to thank those who are with me. i don't know that i could convince those that are not, but i intend to keep trying.
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thank you, mr. chairman. >> do you have any amendment to your amendment? >> i do not. >> are there amendments to senator feinstein's? first senator grassley. >> i appreciate senator feinstein's sincerity. i expressed that three or four times at the last hearing i suppose as much as i oppose her bill. she wonders whether i appreciate her sincerity or not. this has been an important issue for her for 20 years. and we all have to feel for the victims of newtown, but there are other parents of children who were killed at sandy hook elementary school who mourn the loss of their loved ones no
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less, and yet feel very differently about the ways congress should respond. on tuesday i spoke to mr. mark mateoly, his son james was one of those victims. even in his grief he sent me a letter that he authorized me to seek consent to place in the record and quote during the debate. he describes how no one should have to endure what he has endured, and of course no one should. he wrote, quote, i can understand where a knee-jerk reaction comes from to ensure never again. i caution that we employ common sense and do not hand over any liberty which is protected by the constitution, end of quote. i agree. we continue to wait for the justice department constitutional analysis of the bill despite statements by the department of justice witness at two hearings on this matter.
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i have yet to see an opinion from the department arguing that this bill is constitutional. i appreciate the input of other scholars who have offered their opinions as witnesses, but the justice department has or should have a different role in providing us with a constitutional aalies. i go back to -- analysis. i go back to the father saying that the debate should not be about controlling guns, but controlling people who cannot control themselves like people with mental illness and felonies. he favors making sure that people can find the moral compass and parents teach their children right from wrong and do not expose them to violence.
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i agree with him on this point. then he writes, quote, for those who tell me that my son and 25 others were killed that day with an assault weapon, i challenge them to consider, end of his quote, other important factors. he says that assault weapons, quote, are not a threat to our safety, end of quote, and he's very focus ready on improving mental health services. he also opposes the limit on magazine compass its. he asks, quote, with 250 million guns in the united states, how are you going to make me safer by reducing new magazines to one, five or 10 rounds? question mark. he continues to say, you will not increase my safety, on obstruct me from protecting myself from criminals who have them, end of quote. he survived this terrible ordeal
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and to make the terrible -- and to make the statements he made. his words, difficult to write, i'm sure, are an important viewpoint that we should consider. this is especially true when the constitutional concerns about this legislation that arrive in light of the heller decision. i continue to believe that this legislation is flawed under the second supreme court second amendment cases. given those flaws, i oppose the legislation. thank you. i yield the floor. >> thank you very much. i'll try to go back and forth here. anybody seeking -- >> mr. chairman. >> senator blumenthal. >> i want to begin by thanking the chairman for his leadership on the illegal traffic -- >> is your microphone on? >> i want to begin by thanking the chairman for his leadership on the illegal trafficking bill and commend him and my fellow
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co-sponsors and thank senator feinstein for her very kind comments but most especially for her leadership on this bill. the plain, simple, blunt fact is that some, if not all of the beautiful children who perished that day in newtown, along with great educators who gave their lives trying to save those children, might well be alive today if this ban had been in effect, a ban on these military- style assault weapons and the high-capacity magazines. as senator feinstein has already told the committee, we heard testimony from captain mark kelly who recounted what happened in tucson that day when the shooter had to change magazine, and christina taylor, the 9-year-old who perished that day from the 13th bullet fired
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probably would be alive if the magazine used by the shooter had been limited to 10 rounds. the same is true in newtown where children were able to escape because the shooter had to change magazines on that day. more than 10 children are alive today because of his need to change magazines. and more would be if his magazine had been limited to 10 rounds, as our legislation would do. so i recognize that there are concerns about it. we've heard them. the overwhelming majority of the american people are in favor of this legislation, and the opponents fail to reflect the concern that goes beyond newtown but certainly newtown is a call to action.
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it has created a sense of urgency that americans feel and i hope the committee will reflect that sense of urgency in approving this legislation.>> m. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, i'd like to start by saying i agree with senator grassley that sometimes congress tries to impose from washington, d.c., a one-size- fits-all proposed solution that really is best left to localities and states. it's become clear to me, if it wasn't clear before, there are cultural differences in america between those people who've grown up with guns, they know how to use them, they're comfortable with them. they use them safely for hunting or recreation or self-defense. and then there are other people
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who are scared by guns because they've never been around one. and perhaps they live in an urban area where the only gun they ever see or hear of is one in the hands of someone committing a crime. so i think the -- first of all, i would say at an attempt to legislate for the entire united states in a one-size-fits-all proposal is a mistake, and i would say that this is not a ban on weapons. the senator from california, who i have great admiration and respect and affection for, acknowledged that this legislation does nothing to deal with the fact that many of these weapons, which will now be outlawed prospectively, are already in the hands of american citizens, law-abiding american citizens. so is it not a ban. it also is not -- what it does impact are semiautomatic rifles.
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now, you can call it an assault weapon because it looks for cosmetic purposes it looks scary to people who are not familiar with them, but the fact of the matter is these are semiautomatic rifles and this bill does nothing to deal with semiautomatic handguns. i'm not advocating it should. i'm just pointing out that it is not going to achieve the goals that the sponsors -- the sponsors believe it will. i believe one of the biggest problems we have in the country is the lack of enforcement by the department of justice of current laws. i mean, we all support keeping straw purchasers from buying weapons and directing them to people who can't legally own them or possess them. we all believe that mental health ought to be a focus of our efforts here, and this bill does nothing to deal with that. and we all wonder why the
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department of justice won't prosecute people who lie on background checks. well, i think they told us because they don't deem them sufficient priority to do so, but i guess we ought to ask the question -- why -- what might we be able to do to enforce current laws as opposed to passing new laws? of course, congress and president clinton tried a so- called assault weapons ban. we have hindsight as well as research to examine the lackluster results of that decade-long experiment. according to the department of justice's own study, it was completely ineffectual in reducing murder or violent crime rates. now, some have talked about this 1997 study funded by the justice department and claimed that it reduced gun murders by 6.7%. but the problem with that claim is the study reveals in the next sentence how weak the evidence really was. the authors said in the next
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sentence, however, the evidence is not strong enough for us to conclude there was any meaningful effect, i.e., the effect was different from zero. so are we really going to pass another law that will not -- that will have zero effect and pat ourselves on the back and say we accomplished something wonderful? well, we tried this experiment once and it failed and i think it promotes symbolism over seriousness to repeat that mistake. a real concern of mine is that the efforts to enact this gun ban are distracting congress from working on areas that i believe there is a broad consensus in keeping deranged
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mad men from buying guns. if there was a common thread in the virginia tech, tucson, aurora and newtown massacres, it was the mental illness of the shooter. this bill does nothing to deal with that. the commonality is not the type of guns used. some use pistols, some use rifles and at least two shotguns were found at the scene of these crimes. the common thread was mental illness. no one wants disturbed young men or women, for that matter, to have access to firearms.
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unfortunately, this legislation focuses not only the perilous intersection of guns but on cosmetic features of certain firearms. we should refocus our effort to make sure the current background check works to scene out the dangerously mentally ill. now, i'm encouraged by some, including senator graham, have proposed legislation to patch the holes in the background
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check system that enable the mentally ill to buy guns. legislationype of that would bring a consensus and would be a real solution to a real problem. but sadly we seem to be focused on window dressing and risk putting symbolism over substance. >> is there further discussion? >> mr. chairman. hello. >> senator graham. >> thank you. i apologize for being late. we're having a hearing on africom. in armed services. to my colleagues, there seems to be some bipartisanship
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emerging on certain aspects of the problem. senator flake, begich and pryor, we've come together to try to fix a problem. i think everyone would agree needs to be fixed. there is a young lady who was a paranoid schizophrenic, tragic figure in many ways, and in 2005 in south carolina she was indicted, arrested and indicted for threatening the life of the president of the united states and members of congress. very disturbed young lady. she pled guilty -- not guilty by reason of insanity. the federal court ordered her into treatment. she went through a pretty laborious process, found incompetent to stand trial, plead guilty by reason of insanity. the court ordered mental health treatment in a confined environment. she was eventually released. she went to south carolina in february of this year and was able to buy a gun. she passed the background check. the system did not record the fact that she'd been adjudicated, mentally incompetent and dangerous to herself and others. she bought a .22 caliber pistol. went into the administrator's
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office, pulled the gun out and it did not fire. thank god. she's been arrested and she needs a lot of help. there is an effort in a bipartisan way to make sure adjudications like that get into the background system. there are over 14,000, i've been told, adjudications in south carolina of people a danger to themselves and an incompetent court process that's not entered into the federal system and my state is trying to fix that problem and i hope they're successful in south carolina of entering these cases into the federal background check system. and there are some things that senator schumer is doing and many others that may bear fruit. so keep trying. but as to the assault ban, i know that senator feinstein has been consistent. she's sincere and she has the courage of her convictions and what more could you ask? that is a compliment to her. my belief is that the solution being proposed has constitutional problems and doesn't really solve the problem. 2.5% of the murders committed in 2011 involve rifles. there are more people killed with bare hands than that. the assault weapon, when it's misused, is a tragedy. when any gun is misused. i think a lot of us agree that mentally unstable people, felons shouldn't have any gun with any bullet, and sometimes the law- abiding citizen, at least in my view, may need more than 10 bullets given what they may face in the real world as it is. so my objections are that this
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doesn't really fix the problem and that it didn't work before. it won't work now, but since then there's been a supreme court case called the heller case. it has a three-part test. second amendment protects individual right to possess a firearm for traditionally lawful purposes such as self- defense. and to my colleagues, vice president biden, a dear friend of all of us, has this belief that a double barrel shotgun is the best way to defend one's self if there is a lawless environment and mobs come through your house. he told his wife, if you have a problem, go in the back yard and fire two blasts. that's not an unreasonable thing. once you shoot twice you don't have more bullets. you better take shells with you
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in case they don't run away. when the law and order has broken down, if there is a tornado, earthquake, cyberattack, if the power goes down and the dams break and pollutants are released in the air and the law enforcement is not able to respond and people are lawless -- i have an ar-15. i am not going to do anything illegal with it. i think that is better in that environment than a double-barrel shotgun because it has more than two bullets. it is an intimidating gun. i think a house is safer than a double-barrel shotgun. you can disagree. i think what i say makes sense, in my mind is not irrational. common use at the time, there are more than four million ar- 15's in circulation. i happen to have one of them. i say that's common use. dangerous and unusual. absolutely an ar-15 misused is dangerous almost like any other gun, but i would not say it's an unusual weapon since so many people have decided to buy the
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weapon. so i will be voting against the legislation. i didn't think it worked before. i don't think it will work now. i think it misses the mark of what the real problem is, and after heller, i really doubt the constitutionality -- and i'm very disappointed that our attorney general couldn't render an opinion on this. so thank you, mr. chairman, for allowing me to speak. >> thank you. senator grassley's returning just about a minute. an we're going to -- he has amendment. following normal procedure, if there is not an amendment here, we will yield at that time to senator grassley, ranking member, to bring up his amendment. senator coons, you wish to say something first.
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>> while we're waiting for senator grassley to return, i want to add a few comments. mr. chairman, i'm grateful for your leadership and to the members of this committee for their conversation. i was encouraged by some comments i heard earlier in the discussion about s-- s. 54, the stop illegal firearms trafficking act, that led me there is bipartisanship here. enforcing laws on the books and coming together in stopping trafficking and it is my hope as these bills are not taken up by this committee but as they move to the floor that we will not stop listening to each other and trying to find ways to focus and to improve them. i've gotten a great deal of input from my home state of delaware on the issues of the bills that are in front of us today. it's been passionate and it's been diverse. and as senator cornyn
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mentioned, there are clearly differences of culture and region of those who've grown up with and are comfortable with hunting and firearms, whether it's for self-defense and sporting activities and those who are not. i've gotten very strong input from life-long friends, leaders in law enforcement, from pediatricians, from neighbors and from family. and i'll tell you there is a lot of misconceptions about what these bills do. a number of law enforcement leaders in my community express strong opposition to this bill, to s. 150, based on the mistaken impression in a it did not have an exception for law enforcement, for current or retired. it does. i think that's an important
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provision of the bill. i've heard directly from our vice president, from my governor and from senator feinstein, whom i respect deeply for her commitment to doing everything we possibly can to reduce the availability of weapons that can be used to kill and harm. i think we have a number of important pieces of legislation here that will strengthen background checks that will fight gun trafficking. i think this is just one more in what needs to be a broad and searching effort to find the right balance and to find the right solution. and so, although i think none of these bills is perfect, all of them deserve some further consideration. we cannot let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
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as someone who has known parents who lost children, neighbors who've lost family members in gun violence, i intend to vote for this bill in this committee today. thank you. >> senator grassley. the comment was made about support from newtown and i'd like to put a number of testimonials that have come in indicating support from newtown. i'd also like to put in the statement from the united states attorney that testified that in a 2004 follow-up report to the national institute of justice, the same researchers concluded that the use in crimes of assault weapons subject to the 1994 ban declined by more than 2/3 in the first nine years the ban was in effect. and also a statement from professor tribe, if i may.
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>> without objection, that will be part of the record. senator, hold just a moment unless you want to yield to senator lee. >> let's yield to senator lee. >> ok. senator lee. and for scheduling purposes, you might -- there is a classified matter that is going to require senator grassley and i and a couple other members of the senate to be at and as a result we will recess at 11:45 subject to the call of the chair which may bring us back today or tomorrow.
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we'll see. but just so you know. >> i thank you, mr. chairman. just want to make a brief statement about some concerns i have about this legislation. all of us are devastated by the recent acts of violence, particularly mass violence, and every one of us would choose if we could to find any way we can to reduce incidents of violence like those. i am concerned about this legislation for a couple of reasons. number one, i would worry about giving the american people the false impression that we can fix this problem through federal legislation, especially in light of our experience with past similar measures that have proven unsuccessful in bringing an end to this type of violence or even bringing about any significant statistically reduction in it. secondly, and in some ways even more importantly, we have to remember the interest of the law-abiding. there are some people in this country that are probably not going to comply with a lot of laws, no matter what they say. there's another group of people in this country that will typically abide by the law regardless of what the law says. fortunately, we in america are surrounded by people, the majority of whom fit into the latter category. it's those people that i think we need to look out for from time to time. in light of those people, the supreme court of the united
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states has established the standard in the heller case pursuant to which it said people have a second amendment right to possess a firearm that is typically possessed by law- abiding people for lawful purposes. there are, as i understand it, about four million ar-15's in this country. there are even more other weapons that would likewise fall into a ban like this one. to my knowledge, the overwhelming majority of those weapons are possessed by law- abiding people and they are used for law-abiding purposes, hunting, target practice, self- defense and the like. i have yet to be convinced that the proponents of this legislation have met their heavy burden of establishing that this law would do more harm than good and that the -- any good it might do would offset these interests of these law-abiding citizens. for these reasons i can't support this legislation. >> thank you. i know that senator grassley wants me to finish this part of the agenda before we have to break and, senator grassley, you have an amendment. >> i do. it's alb-13190, requiring the attorney general to submit an annual report to congress dealing a number of statistics regarding the department's prosecution of violence -- violation of federal firearms law. the amendment would require the attorney general to provide information related to cases presented to the department from prosecution, federal, state and local, for violation of gun laws. it also requires information on cases where the department failed to file charges based upon these referrals. it requires information why cases were not charged, whether indictments are pending, whether plea agreements were entered, whether the defendant plead guilty or was found guilty and what -- pled guilty or was found
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guilty and what charges. this report is necessary, so i want to emphasize, necessary given the concern we heard in all three hearings about the lack of prosecutions under the current laws. example, it was discussed at the subcommittee hearing over 76,000 individuals were denied firearms under background checks and yet only 62 were prosecuted. this argument, the argument we heard from the department was that nearly impossible to prosecute these individuals because penalties are too low and violations too hard to prove. i think this is too simple of an argument, but understand some of the concerns. however, even if we do pass any of the bills on the markup agenda today and it becomes law, we need to ensure they are enforced. if we do not obtain detailed information about how the department enforces or fails to enforce, we know -- won't know if new legislation works. so this is a necessary step to ensure that changes in federal laws have a desired impact. now i understand the justice department strongly opposes. their concern is it intrudes into the prosecutorial decisionmaking. and it burdens them with reports that detract from prosecution -- prosecuting criminals. these are arguments that we hear all the time from the department and many other agencies that don't want congress overseeing them.
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of course i don't buy it and members shouldn't simply take their word for it. reports like this wouldn't be necessary if the department answered our letters and responded to our questions about oversight and particularly if they did it at hearings. just as an example, senator whitehouse and i pointed out to the attorney general yesterday that we still await answers to questions from the last oversight hearing we had with the attorney general in june of last year. with a response time like that, we may never know how the department's working. an annual report will require the department to provide us data regularly and likely faster than if we ask the attorney general himself. so i urge my colleagues to support this amendment so we can collect data.
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we need to ensure the department prosecute the laws on the books. i'd like to have a roll call vote please. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. this amendment is a big broad amendment. it seeks to determine whether a decision has been made to charge an individual with a firearm's violations. in cases where no charge was made. a description of why no charge was filed. whether an indictment, information or other charge has been brought against any person. whether in any case that's charged, whether a firearm violation is alleged. whether in any case where a firearms violation is alleged, a plea agreement has been entered into, and whether any plea agreement resulted in a firearms conviction. it also includes in any case where there is no firearms conviction resulted, identification of the charges for which the individual did plead guilty. in any case not alleging a
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violation of firearm laws, the nature of the other charges brought and the result of any trial. now, having said that, i think the concern of this is a good thing and i think we -- i think the kernel of this is a good thing and i think we can get this established. there are lots of these violations, some 70,000. and it's an overwhelming task. i'd offer, senator, and, you know, i think my word, i hope you think my word means something, to work with you and try to work down to that kernel so we get something that's doable. senator graham had this discussion. i understand the point. i think
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we should have something. this is huge and broad, and i think that's why the justice opposes it. >> the senator asked for a roll call vote. senator durbin. >> i want to speak. in the southerly district of illinois, based in the st. clair county area, the u.s. attorney steve wigginton, is faced with a situation that's troubling. my hometown, where i was born, east st. louis, illinois, has a violent crime rate and murder
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rate 18 times the national average. 18 times the national average. the carnage that goes on in that small town with the misuse of firearms is incredible. and they are doing everything they can to deal with it. because of budget cutbacks that we have imposed in congress, it's now reached the point where he cannot fill vacancies when u.s. attorneys retire or resign. what they do is solicit those who are willing to volunteer without any pay to serve as an assistant u.s. attorney in the southern district of illinois and some are coming forward to do it. it's an indication of the workload they face and the desperate situation they're in to try to take control of what is a violent, terrible thing, menacing a lot of innocent people. senator grassley, this is an incredible amount of paperwork which you are asking for. for every possible case, they are required to fill voluminous paperwork. they will be filing forms with the department of justice. i think we know what the problem is here. this is a paperwork offense
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under the current law. we want to make it a serious offense. that's why some of the changes we're considering today will make a difference. i really think senator feinstein is right. let's get down to the root problem of the, regular reporting, but please don't impose this paperwork requirement on many offices that are struggling to survive. >> i disagree with you. there is such a big gap between prosecution and violation of the laws. we got to know why these are not being prosecuted. and if they don't prosecute them, they ought to be telling us why they don't prosecute them.
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i think this report answers those questions and will help fill the gap and i'll bet we'll get more prosecution. >> mr. chairman. >> roll call. >> i'm actually going to -- >> i don't want to cut anybody off. i know we will be recessing -- >> i'll put it on the record later. >> i would like to get this bill finished before we do. does the senator wish to -- >> i'll put it on the record later if you're concerned about fine. >> roll call vote. >> ms. feinstein? >> no. >> mr. durbin, mr. whitewhite
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house, ms. klobuchar, mr. franken. >> no. >> mr. coons. >> no. >> mr. blumenthal? >> no. >> ms. hirono. >> no. >> mr. grassley. >> aye. >> mr. hatch. >> aye. >> mr. sessions. >> aye. >> mr. graham. >> aye per proxy. >> aye. >> mr. lee. >> aye. >> mr. cruz. >> aye. >> mr. flake. >> aye by proxy. >> mr. chairman. >> no. >> can i offer another amendment? >> i'll work with you. >> nine yeas, nine nays. >> then the amendment fails. >> senator feinstein does work with me and with other people of the committee and i hope we can work out something to accomplish some of the goals i want to accomplish. this is my last amendment. i don't -- do we have -- you have an amendment. i'll go through mine very fast. i hope we can vote on this bill today and get this behind us. this is amendment alb-13193, requiring the director of n.i.j.
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to conduct a study to examine the impact of violent adult theme video games may have on mass shootings. this amendment is not about blaming an industry for the horrific acts of mass shooters. it simply examines the role that violent games may play in recent mass shootings. according to media reports, the perpetrators of mass shooting in aurora, newtown, were both avid players of violent video games. the norway mass shooter who killed 77 went so far as to describe in his manifesto how he utilized video games to train for his attack. this is troubling given the number of these games that are sold annually in the united states and around the world. our video game -- one video game called "call of duty: modern warfare 2," 22 million copies sold worldwide where the player of the game serves as an undercover operative. in his role, the player guides the player as part of a terror attack at a russian airport. the player takes part as a team shooter, guns down innocent civilians waiting in an airport. well, my amendment is alb-13141. i ask consent to place these pictures in the record that we have here. and i'm going to put the rest of the statement in the record. i think everybody knows what i'm talking about, and i know that
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senator coons has an amendment to my amendment or some sort of an amendment. i ask you to support his amendment as well. >> senator coons. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'd like to offer a second- degree amendment. i believe what we're asking for is 13141, calling for a study specifically focused on violent video games. and my second-degree amendment focuses on the fact that i believe there is a very wide range of possible causes of mass casualty incidents. i want to specifically amend my second-degree amendment as has been circulated at 13 so that it specifically says depictions of violence in the video game,
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media and entertainment industries. so it's clear i recognize the desirability of considering violent video games. it lists a whole series of factors for this n.i.j. study, factors that is childhood neglect, bullying which has been cited by my colleagues, availability of mental health services and others. i will not take the time to go through them all. >> my understanding is the senator will accept your second degree? >> yes. >> without objection, the senator from iowa's amendment is amended with the amendment of the senator from delaware. those in favor of the amendment, as amended, signify by saying aye.
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opposed. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. are there further amendments? >> senator cornyn i think has our last amendment. >> senator cornyn. >> well, actually i have several amendments but i want to draw my colleagues' attention to senator feinstein's -- the exception in her legislation for gun ban for certain classes of americans, namely the retired law enforcement officers. i think any exception to the ban is remarkable concession by the authors and co-sponsors of the bill. that's because bills' sponsors have long declared that so- called assault weapons are purely offensive in nature as in designed for killing. hence the name assault weapon. but in fact i believe this exception concedes that there are at least some americans who should be allowed to possess these weapons for purposes of defending themselves, their families and their communities. so i would ask my colleagues, why should this exception be
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limited only to retired law enforcement officers? is it because we believe they have some special competency and training to use these weapons to defend themselves and others, or is it because we think they and their families are worthy of special protection? i want to be clear. i think every law-abiding american has a right to choose how best to defend themselves and their families. that's why i strongly oppose this legislation. i wholeheartedly agree with the authors and the sponsors of this legislation that the weapons this bill would ban can and are used lawfully for self- and family defense. so the purpose of the amendments, and i have a number of them that i will offer, is to highlight the dangers of a blanket ban and illustrate why we shouldn't prevent law- abiding citizens from owning
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self-defense weapons. theou don't believe that guns banned by this bill can be used lawfully for self-defense, then you should be offering an amendment to strike the exception for retired law enforcement. but of course i don't expect that. >> does the senator have an amendment he wishes to call up? >> i would like to call up 13115. >> 13115 is before us. >> in amendment, mr. chairman, would allow members of the armed forces and veterans to obtain and possess the self- defense weapons prohibited by this legislation. members and veterans of the armed forces are the most highly trained and qualified individuals to own these weapons for self-defense purposes. we should think long and hard before disarming these heroes, preventing them from protecting their families and their communities. >> senator feinstein. >> if i understand this, this adds an exemption of retired military.
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as i understand our bill, no issue has arose in the regard during the 10 years the ban was in effect and what we did in the other bill was exempt possession by the united states or a department or agency of the united states. so that included active military. the problem with expanding this is that, you know, with the advent of ptsd, which i think is a new phenomenon as a product of the iraq war, it's not clear how the seller or transfer of a firearm covered by this bill would verify that an individual was a member or veteran and there was no impairment of that individual with respect to having a weapon like this. so, you know, i would be happy to sit down with you again and see if we can work something out. i think we have to -- if you're going to do this, find a way that veterans who are incapacitated for one reason or another mentally, don't have
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access to this kind of weapon. >> i would suggest this may be one that should be worked on. as the senator from california knows, i have some problems with her overall legislation but i'm going to vote for it to get the matter out so it's just not those of us in this room will get a chance to talk about it or act on it but the whole senate, all 100 of us. so on the amendment, the clerk will call the roll. >> mr. chairman, ptsd suffers are already prohibited by law. and i think it's a mistake to paint so broadly as to say any active duty military or veterans can't use these kinds of weapons or any other lawful weapons for self-defense. and certainly i wouldn't want to suggest that we think the people who served in the military all suffer from some debilitating illness that would prohibit them from being able to --
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>> that suggestion has not been made by anybody on either side of the aisle here. and the clerk will call the roll. >> mrs. feinstein. >> no. >> mr. schumer? >> no. >> mr. durbin. >> no. >> mr. whitehouse. >> no. >> mr. klobuchar. >> no. >> mr. franken. >> no. >> mr. coons. >> yes. >> ms. hirono. mr. grassley. >> aye. >> mr. hatch. >> aye. >> mr. sessions. >> aye by proxy. >> mr. cornyn. >> aye. >> mr. lee. >> aye.
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>> mr. cruz. >> aye. >> mr. flake. >> aye. >> mr. chairman. >> no. >> mr. chairman, nine yeas, nine nays. senator grassley. >> can i ask, is it going to be possible to get this done before the chairman and i go for a briefing, like how many more -- >> don't believe so. i don't know about your schedule, but i have a number of other amendments. so i'd be happy to -- >> in that case, we will -- we're not going to be able to finish, and because of the -- senator grassley or senator fine tine and i are able to talk about the nature of this briefing, so we will -- we will
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recess subject to the call of the chair, but -- and we will get this bill completed. i appreciate the honesty of the senator from texas' answers. we stand recess subject to the call. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013]
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." >> wednesday, senator rand paul led a filibuster, citing his request for the attorney general to answer whether the president could take action against a u.s. citizen in the u.s. with the use of drums. -- drones. thursday, eric holder our replied in a letter --
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>> friday, attorney general eric holder makes remarks. it is an event established to be against crime. that is live on c-span2. >> on c-span tonight, the un security council on north korea. that is followed by members of the council. then they examine u.s. policy toward north korea. after that, the legislation. -- gun legislation.
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>> coming up, blake hounshell. then charles blahouse will talk about the expansion of the medicaid program. then, brian mckenzie and robert puentes. live every morning at 7:00 a.m. on c-span. >> i believe many people have the possibility of pulling themselves up by the bootstraps. i think every year, that is less and less probable. the united states, especially in
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its foreign policy, is not the great nation. it is an interventionist. it is extremely aggressive militarily. we mess with other people's politics in ways that i cannot imagine a mallet -- americans tolerating. imagine if some country invaded us the way we did in iraq. can you imagine americans thinking that is ok? somehow, we still have a myth that people are thrilled when we invade them. that is insane. i believe 99 percent of the time, we create new enemies. >> she has made a career as an advocate of world peace. more with the nobel prize winner sunday night at 8:00 on c-span's "q&a." >> the u.n. security council voted today for new sanctions against north korea.
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the unanimous vote by the 15- member council. the resolution puts new restrictions on north korea. [speaking foreign language] >> the agenda is adopted. under rule 37 of the council's provision of rules of procedure, i invite the representatives of belgium, canada, denmark, italy, japan and the philippines to participate in this meeting. if so desired. -- it is so decided.
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the security council will now begin its consideration of item 2 of the agenda. members of the council also have before them document 2013 stroke 136, the text of a draft resolution submitted by australia, belgium, canada, denmark, italy, france, italy, japan, morocco, the philippines, the republic of korea, rwanda, togo, the united kingdom of great britain and northern ireland and the united states of america. it is my understanding that the council is ready to proceed to the vote on the draft resolution before us. i shall put the draft resolution to the vote now. will those in favor of the
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draft resolution contained in document s stroke 2013 stroke 136 please raise their hand? the result of the voting is as follows -- the draft resolution received 15 votes in favor. the draft resolution has been adopted unanimously. resolution 2094 of 2013. the security council has not concluded the present stage of its consideration of the item on its agenda. the meeting is adjourned. >> following the meeting, members spoke with reporters. you will hear from susan rice. this is 30 minutes.
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unanimously adopted resolution -- >> today the security council unanimously adopted resolution 2094, strongly condemning north korea's highly february 12 nuclear test and imposing significant new sanctions under chapter 7 of the u.n. charter. the strength, breadth and severity of these sanctions will raise the cost to north korea of its illicit nuclear program and further constrain its ability to finance and source materials and technology for its ballistic missile, conventional and nuclear weapons program. first, resolution 2094 imposes tough new financial sanctions.
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when north korea tries to move money to pay for its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, countries must now block those transfers even if the money is being carried in suitcases full of vault cash. likewise northern banks will find it much harder to launder money for the nuclear program. today's resolution also imposes new travel restrictions. if, for example, a north korean agent is caught making arms deals or selling nuclear technology, countries will be required to expel that agent. countries must also now prevent the travel of people working for designated companies involved in the nuclear and missile programs. states will now have new authority to inspect cargo and stop north korean arms smuggling and proliferation.
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if a country has cargo on its territory that might be carrying prohibitive items like nuclear or ballistic materials, this resolution requires that the cargo be inspected. it will also make it harder for north korean vessels to offload such prohibited cargo if a ship refuses inspection on the high seas. thus forcing it to return to its port of origin. and airplanes carrying smuggled items can find themselves grounded. this resolution will also counter north korean efforts to abuse diplomatic privileges to advance its nuclear and ballistic missile activities. it will now be much harder for such diplomats to procure technology or divert funds to the nuclear program without being detected and expelled. resolution 2094 further bans the transfer to and from north korea of specific ballistic missile, nuclear and chemical weapons-related technology.
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it lists new prohibitive -- prohibited items and calls on states to block any item at all that could contribute to these activities. it names additional north koreans and north korean companies whose assets will be frozen and those individuals will also be subject to a travel ban. this resolution lists a number of luxury goods that cannot be sold to north korea. as a result, north korea's ruling elite who have been living large while impoverishing their people will pay a direct test. this can be found on the u.n. mission web site www.usun.state.gov. these sanctions will bite and bite hard. they increase north korea's isolation and raise the cost to
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north korea's leaders of defining the international community. the entire world stands united in our commitment to the denuclearization of the korean peninsula and in our demand that north korea complies with its international obligation s. if it does not then the security council committed today in this resolution to take further significant measures if there is another nuclear test or missile launch. we regret that north korea has again chosen the path of prove occasion.
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instead of the path of peace. far from achieving its stated goal of becoming a strong and prosperous nation, north korea has instead again opted to further impoverished its people and increase its isolation. we hope instead that north korea will heed president obama's call to choose the path of peace and come into compliance with its international obligation.
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the >> thank you. if they do not comply with sanctions, there is no obligation. no penalty. how would you make sure it will be implemented? >> this strengthens not only the sanctions itself, but the mechanisms available to the council. as other sanctions, resolutions, including iran, they will be held accountable. we are of the view that every member state is legally obliged to fulfill, to the letter, the terms of this resolution and the prior resolution with respect to north korea.
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we have unanimously passed this resolution and are committed to ensuring its effective implementation. >> this is a very strong resolution. i was wondering whether you really think this resolution could really break repeated patterns of sanctions. what do you think is needed? if any? apart from implementation? >> the answer to your question relies with the decisions the north korean leadership make. we have been very clear we are
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united that north korea comply with its international obligations or face increased pressure and isolation. as you can see, that pressure is increasing. the aim we share. should north korea wisely make changes, to in fact he the opportunity to take concrete steps to dismantle nuclear program, coming in compliance with international obligations, there is an opportunity for the future of its people to be much brighter. >> thank you. there were increased and
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escalating threats that north korea would make a pre-emptive attack against the united states. would you comment against that? are you more worried than you were before? >> north korea will achieve nothing by continued threats. these will only further isolate the country and its people and undermine international efforts to promote peace and stability in northeast asia. we have urged the north korean leadership continually to see president obama's call to choose a path of peace and come into compliance with international obligations. that is what they ought to do. thank you all very much.
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>> good morning, everybody. china is a country of principle. we are fully committed. we are committed firmly to safeguarding international and nuclear proliferation. promoting deneutralization. we are committed to peacefulness of relevant issues through negotiation and dialogue. the resolution adopted by the security council is a reflection of the view of international
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community against nuclear programs, new colorization -- nuclearize asian -- nucleariz ation of iran. this is not for the sake of adoption and sanctions. we want to see full implementation of the resolution, the top priority now is to diffuse the tension, bring down the heat, focus on diplomatic, and bring the future back on the track of diplomacy. the negotiations.
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this resolution is very important. we have to realize to have a nuclear-free peninsula, to denuclearize, is a hard, tedious, difficult journey. the resolution itself is important. we need more steps. we need comprehensive strategy. we need to bring the future back to the right track of negotiations and dialogue.
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we need wisdom. we need persistence. perseverance. we need teamwork. we have to bring down heat. this is our focus. to bring back peace and stability in the region. thank you very much. >> you have said several concept this resolution should be part of a competence of strategy. could you say what is the next step? what is the next step taken in china's view to bring them back into the normal track and negotiate? what can be done? >> the resolution step -- you resolution sends a very important message.
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it stresses the importance of six-party talks. it is a very important opportunity, very important and a channel, as a vehicle. that is why we encourage all the stakeholders to talk with each other, to address their differences through peaceful means, through dialogue and negotiations. china would like to work along with the international community and make sure that we can achieve the peace and stability in the region. thank you very much. the last question. >> this resolution has some provisions. china has opposed four years ago [indiscernible]the
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inspection of the vessels. what has changed in the chinese position? what has changed in your attitude from last time to this time? >> china's position is consistent. and firm. we believe that action taken by the security council must be a balanced one, must be proportionate to address the nuclear issue. and to prevent escalation of tensions. i think that is why we voted in favor of this resolution. .hank you very much a
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>> good morning. the republic of korea welcomes and supports the unanimous adoption of the security council resolution 2094 this morning. north korea's nuclear test is a great threat to the key san security of the korean and insula as well as -- the korean pencil as well as the region and beyond and it undermines the very foundation of the nuclear nonproliferation regime and it also undermines the credibility and the authority of the security council and the united nations itself. the adoption of this resolution reflects the will of the international community in this regard.
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the international community will never tolerate north korea's repeated violations and north korea's nuclear and ballistic missile program. each violation will be met i stronger responses -- met by stronger responses and measures. today's resolution is a logical and appropriate response by the international community. as investor rice has elaborated just now, resolution 2094 contains credible and strong measures strengthening existing sanctions as well as introducing new elements. it also includes a strong trigger to take further significant steps, significant
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measures against north korea's future revocation. north korea will pay a dear price for its illicit activities and wrongdoings. it is also deplorable that pyongyang makes a series of inflammatory statements directed at the republic of korea and other un member states. it threatens to notify the armistice agreement and return -- and to turn the enemies in a sea of flames, claiming the right to preemptive nuclear strike. north korea's provocation, whether rhetorical or physical, is completely an acceptable -- completely unacceptable and we will deal with it resolutely.
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>north korea must wake up from its delusion of being a nuclear state and make the right choice. the victim from this nuclear pursuit and publication will be that the -- will be none other than north korea itself. it must cease its revocation and become a responsible member of the international community. north korea, once again, stands at a crossroads here -- crossroads. it can either choose the right path toward a bright future and prosperity or it can take the bad road toward further and deeper isolation and eventual self-destruction. the choice is simple, but
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consequences will run deep. inth korea's future rests its own hands. therefore, we strongly urge north korea to comply fully with the obligations of the relevant security council resolution. thank you. i will take a couple of questions. >> has there been any movement toward the dialogue for six party talks? has anybody been in contact with the north korea's -- with the north koreans to move the six party talks forward? >> the short answer is no. we have not yet had any contact with north korea an. we have all seen the announcement coming from pyongyang. they have blocked themselves from our side board. today's not the right time for a talk about talking about
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dialogue. today is the time for adopting this resolution and talking about the future implications of what has been captured in today's resolution. >> which part of the resolution, which measure in the resolution do you feel is most important and would be very effective? >> you know, out of 10 fingers, all are important. there are several different kind of strengthened measures as well as some elements that were newly introduced this time around. there are the additional
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individuals and entities. there are policies on introductions and on luxury goods and so on and so forth that will be available for you on the website. all in all, in a comprehensive manner, everything that was captured in resolution 2094, those are all important. >> immediately after the vote, the secretary-general put out a very detailed statement. do you think that the secretary general or dpa, is there any role they could play? would you like to see them somehow bridge the gap? >> i am not in a position to speak for the secretary-general and the office of secretary it. but from what i understand, the secretary-general has shown his
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interest, his continuing interest that he might play some role in the future should the circumstances become right. and you have to address the question to the secretary- general himself. >> is there anything you wanted to include in this resolution -- it you couldn'tn do because of negotiations? >> this is a long list. it is a strengthened one and i am quite satisfied with it. you can add whatever you want to add. his is not complete in its entirety as of now. but currently, i am quite satisfied with the contents of the resolution.
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>> mr. ambassador, how will the republic of korea harmonize this very strong resolution with the new policy to deal with north korea under the new presidency? >> the policy of the government of the republic of korea is that we want dialogue and confidence building between the republic of korea and north korea. but first, we need to obtain the proper environment to establish this mutual trust. once north korea abandons
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nuclear program and abandons their provocative and hostile policy towards south and the outside world, then the republic of korea will stand ready to talk about all the measures that will strengthen the inter-korean the sharedp and development. thank you very much. >> thank you. i think today the security council acted in a prompt, unanimous and measured manner and deliver the response to the latest new there tests by the
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kp rk, which is an appropriate measure and, as far as the russian federation is concerned, it is important that the high- priority that is expressed in the resolution is a need to return to the six party talks. there have been many questions today about threats which were heard from the prk. -- from the dprk. all those things may be taking us away from the need to resume six party talks. even if it may well be that today or tomorrow it would be unrealistic to be expect that come under the circumstances, the six party talks would be resumed today or tomorrow, it should be a high priority on the minds of all those who per dissipate in the six party talks and certainly the high- priority for the russian federation. generally speaking, we do need to think in terms of a system of
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peace and security in northeast asia waste on equal security, of course, given the need to achieve denuclearization of the korean peninsula. dprk wellat thedpk reduce its course and open its way to dialogue and negotiations in order to achieve greater security for the region and greater security for the the prk and the political resolution of the problem. >> in terms of the talks, you say that it is in some future date. >> much will depend on the reaction from the prk. of course, i don't think we
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should all be thinking only in terms of top responses. the cycle of provocation, ballistic missile launches, nuclear tests, this is all very unfortunate. you should recall that that has not been the choice of the security council or the choice of the russian federation or other members of the six party talks. in our dialogue, in are paralleled by a cop -- parallel dialogues with the prk, we have continued to maintain this dialogue in advance and made it very clear that the consequences of this nuclear test would be very negative for the prk and for the entire region. but our warnings were not heeded. that meant that the response from the security council was inevitable. that is not our choice. so now it is the choice for the prk to make and also for other interested parties who must behave responsibly.
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i think the competition in terms of threats and counter threats will serve no good purpose. so let's act and talk with restraint. let's keep our minds cool. and keep talks open for the only rational course of resolution itches the six party talks. -- resolution which is the six party talks. >> eluded to the fact that you did not want to have an open debate. can you have at least the next clinician of vote? >> i think it signifies that the members of the security council the results speak for themselves and no explanation was necessary. >> thank you very much. >> coming up, play count shall -- blake hounshell discusses the
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sanctions on north korea. s will be herees playhous to talk about the social security and medical law. and robert point is from the brookings institute. "washington journal" every morning at 7 a.m. eastern on c- span. friday, secretary of state john kerry and first lady michelle obama take part in the annual state department women of courage awards recognizing women for leadership and promoting women's rights and empowerment. see a live starting at 3 p.m. eastern here on c-span. >> the top us envoy for north korea policy testified before the senate foreign relations committee thursday. the hearing comes on the heels of north korea threatening a pre-and didn't strike on the us
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and the un security council additional sanctions. this is two hours 20 minutes. >> this highlights the growing threat to united states and our friends in the region and the increasing dangers of severe instability for the korean peninsula.
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i think these actions are a step in the right direction.
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i congratulate the administration in moving things forward so effectively with the united nations. i also believe that we need to do more to better the term and how the united states can combined effect of sanctions and military countermeasures with and realistic diplomacy aimed at north korea and china and with a their goal of korea's abandonment of its new their programs. north korea yesterday made what i consider to be an absurd threat of a "preemptive nuclear attack to destroy the strongholds of the aggressors." there should be no doubt about our determination, willingness and capability to neutralize and counter any threat that north korea may present.
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i do not think the regime in pyongyang wants to commit suicide, but that, as they must surely know, would be the result of any attack on the united states. but even as we assure that effective military countermeasures are in place to safeguard the united states and our allies, there should also be no doubt about our determination to work with the international community, through peaceful diplomatic means, to achieve a denuclearized korean peninsula.
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today it is estimated that north korea has accumulated between 20 to 40 kilograms of plutonium, enough perhaps for six to eight nuclear weapons. it has now conducted three nuclear explosive tests. it has developed a modern gas centrifuge uranium enrichment program to go along with its plutonium stockpile. and it is seeking to develop the capability to mate a nuclear warhead to an intercontinental ballistic missile. taken together, these developments present a growing danger that north korea may well become a small nuclear power -- a scenario which, while bad enough on its own, could well have additional dangerous effects if it leads other nations in the region to reconsider their own commitments to non-proliferation. moreover, there is also the continuing danger of further conventional military provocation from north korea that results in a serious military clash between north and south, and the potential for unintended escalation that could draw in the united states and china and result in a deadly and dangerous confrontation on the peninsula. and, beyond these security concerns, there are also on- going questions about human rights and the lot of the north korean people. security concerns may be our most important priority on the peninsula, but they are not our only priority.
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it has now been a little over a year since kim jung un took power amid speculation that this transition could lead to a period of instability inside the north, perhaps even leading to collapse. yet that instability does not appear to have materialized -- although of course we can never be sure about the future in north korea. by all appearances, kim has asserted control over the military and strengthened party institutions. and, contrary to some media hype focused on his education in switzerland, he has not proved to be a reformer. it is unclear whether he has any objectives other than maintaining tight control of his political and economic system. above all else, north korea clearly represents a real and growing threat to u.s. national security interests, and therefore deserves our close attention. in time, if its present course remains unaltered, north korea will pose a direct threat to the united states. today, north korea certainly poses a growing threat to our allies and to american forces in region. it also threatens to undermine the international nonproliferation regime -- particularly, as its arsenal grows, by spreading its threat to other counties through a transfer of nuclear technology and materials. we know, for example, that north korea has made efforts to
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proliferate nuclear technology in the past, building a plutonium separation plant in syria which israel destroyed by bombing it before its completion, and we know that there is a long history of north korean-iranian military cooperation. i hope that this hearing, as well as a continuing dialogue with the administration on this issue, we help us explore several key questions that are critical to informing our future policy towards north korea -- does north korea pursue a nuclear weapons program as a deterrent, for defensive purposes, or does it pursue a nuclear program as part of a policy intended to reunify the peninsula by force? could the current regime ever conceive of parting with its nuclear capability, or does it view these weapons as essential tools to deter the united states and continue its hold on power? getting these answers right will be critical to determining if there is hope for diplomacy or if a different approach is necessary. it is also important to note the coming to power of a new south korean administration led by
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president park at this difficult time. and i offer her my congratulations on her inauguration last week. there is no basis for successfully dealing with the north absent a solid foundation for policy rooted in the us-rok alliance. with president park?s inauguration we have an important opportunity to consult and work closely with a close ally to chart out future course in dealing with north korea. finally, we need to consider how recent transitions in other countries in the region -- including our close ally japan, as well as china -- may present new opportunities in building a more effective approach to dealing with pyongyang. whatever one's views on the various policy efforts of the past two decades -- what has worked and what has not worked and why -- there can be little question that these efforts have failed to end to north korea?s nuclear or missile programs, failed to reduce the threat posed by north korea to our allies, and failed to lead to greater security in the region.
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certainly there are no easy answers when it comes to how to be successful when dealing with a regime like north korea. but i am hopeful that today's hearing, and the conversation we start today, may help us to get to a place where, twenty years from now, we can look back at successfully having ended north korea's nuclear and missile programs, and built greater stability and security on the peninsula and throughout the asia-pacific region. let me call on the distinguished ranking member, senator corker. >> north korea's nuclear weapons program, missile program, and proliferation activities pose a threat to the united states' security interests. policy makers have attempted to influence north korea's behavior through deterrent tools, including inducements and punitive measures.
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u.s. officials have used diplomacy, a system of financial sanctions, and counterproliferation tools, including proactive interdiction activities. despite the combination of tools, the united states has failed to persuade the north korean regime to abandon its nuclear weapons program. we know north korea continues to engage in a range of illicit activities to generate hard currency to support the regime. simultaneously, the situation for the north korean people has continued to deteriorate, with rampant human rights abuses, the continued expansion of north korean prison camps, and some analysts estimate they may hold as 200,000 prisoners. china continues to serve as north korea's primary benefactor, accounting for 60% of north korean trade. beijing remains pyongyang's source of food and fuel. policy-makers have not been able to persuade china that the cost of beijing's continued support far outweighs any benefit. it is clear we must maintain our efforts. i recognize that north korea is a complex policy conundrum and there is no silver bullet
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solution. after 20 years of unsuccessful policies by successive administrations, is logical that we ought to undertake a comprehensive review of our north korean strategy, including new tools to crack the north korean policy knot. that is why i will work with senator menendez and other members to work on the accountability act which would require -- undertaking the review does not require abandoning efforts, nor terminating sanctions. it necessitates we redouble efforts to think outside the box.
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in recent months it has become increasingly clear to me that u.s. policymakers often pay closer attention to the non- military aspects of deterrence, including efforts to weaken and debilitate the north korean regime. in particular, we often do more to expose the north's hostility toward its own citizens as a means to influence the kim regime. we should promote the flow of information, including our broadcasts. do not mistake my interest in the non-military aspect as a call to abandon the military posture security aspects of our north korean policy. i believe that a robust u.s. nuclear deterrent is the central to u.s. security and remains critical to maintaining our security commitments to allies in the asia-pacific, including japan and south korea. ambassador joseph will speak about our deterrent later during this hearing. i look forward to hearing from you in regarding the
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administration's efforts, including efforts at the security council on new sanctions resolutions. i look forward to hearing from you and all our expert witnesses about our capabilities to deter north korean provocations, options to elicit enhanced chinese cooperation, and opportunities to improve the lives of the north korean people. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. our panel has put together the top decision makers on north korean policy from several previous administrations. they represent decades of experience. i can think of no better group to analyze what has worked and what has not. i expect they may hold in some cases different views in this regard, and that is only natural considering the importance of addressing north korea, and we
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are going to look forward to this discussion. we start off with the distinguished ambassador glyn davies. he oversees u.s. involvement in the six-party talks process, as well as aspects of our security assistance policies regarding north korea. he is a career member of the foreign service, serving previously as a permanent representative to the u.s. atomic energy administration and the u.n. office in vienna, as well as the principal deputy assistant secretary of state and executive secretary of the national security council staff. an extraordinary wealth of knowledge. we look forward to your testimony. >> thank you very much.
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thank you for inviting me to testify today on u.s. policy toward north korea or, as it is called, the democratic people's republic of korea. north korea's announcement of its third nuclear test and its threats to conduct even more are only the latest in a long line of reminders that the nuclear weapons programs proliferation activities pose serious threats to u.s. national security, to regional security in the asia- pacific, and to the global nonproliferation regime. pyongyang continues to violate its commitments, and its human rights record is deplorable. its people are impoverished. it pours huge sums into nuclear
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and ballistic missile programs that are forbidden by the united nations. north korea's provocative threatening actions, meanwhile, continues to grow to take advantage of the alternatives available. the united states offered -- and has continued to offer -- pyongyang an improved relationship with the united states and integration into the international community, provided north korea demonstrate a willingness to fulfill its denuclearization commitments and address other concerns. the dprk rebuffed these offers and instead responded with a series of provocations that drew widespread international condemnation. 60 countries criticized the december launch. the february 12 announcement of a nuclear test which was proclaimed as targeted against
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the united states represents an even bolder threat to national security, stability of the regime, and the global nonproliferation regime. the international response has been unprecedented over 80 countries condemning the test. we are working with the international community to make clear that north korea's nuclear test has costly consequences. in adopting a resolution 2087 in january, the u.n. security council pledged to take action in the event of a nuclear test. we're working hard at the united nations security council to make good on that pledge, and, mr. chairman, that is occurring even as we speak.
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we're hoping that the council adopts a resolution that the united states put forward, that the security council will deliver a strong response that further impedes the growth of north korea's nuclear weapons and ballistic weapons programs and its ability to engage in proliferation activities. the resolution today that we tabled builds upon, strengthens, and significantly expands the scope of the strong u.n. sanctions already in place. the sanctions contained in this draft resolution will impede north korea's ability to proceed in developing its nuclear and missile programs and expand the scope of the choices the u.s. has available to counter these and other elements. we are strengthening our cooperation with our allies,
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working closely with partners in the department of defense and other agencies. we will take steps necessary defend our allies, particularly the republic of korea and japan. multilateral and national sanctions will remain a vital component of our effort to impede the dprk and its activities. we continue to exercise national authorities to sanction north korean entities and those that support them and facilitating programs that threaten the american people. most recently, on january 24, the department of state and treasury designated a number of north korean individuals and entities under executive order 13382.
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we will continue to take national measures as appropriate. sanctions are not a punitive measure, but a tool to impede the deployment of north korea's nuclear missile programs and its proliferation, as well as to make clear the cost of north korea's denial of its international obligations, and working toward our end-game will require an openness to dialogue with the dprk. we are committed to negotiate since the implementation of the september 2005 joint statement of the six-party talks and to bring north korea into compliance with its international obligations through irreversible steps leading to denuclearization. the united states will not engage in talks for talks' sake.
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it will require a change in north korea's priorities, demanding that pyongyang will meet its obligations on denuclearization. this leads to a few important other principles. first, the united states will not accept north korea as a nuclear state. we will not compensate them for returning to dialogue. we will not tolerate north korea for bullying its neighbors. the united states cannot approve without improvement in inter- korean relations. in the meantime, at the u.s. diplomacy on north korea on a wide range of issues continues. close coordination with our treaty allies, including japan, remain absolutely central to our approach.
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we have expanded our engagement might develop a new dialogue key global actors who have joined the rising chorus of voices, calling on the dprk to comply with obligations. china does remain central to altering or korea's calculus, and close u.s.-china confrontations will remain a key china coordination will remain key focus of diplomatic efforts. while a denuclearized korea is a goal, so too is the welfare of north korea's 25 million people, the vast majority of whom bear the brunt of the government's decision to perpetuate an unsustainable self-impoverishing
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military-first policy. improving human rights conditions is an integral part of our overall north korea policy, and how the dprk addresses human rights will have an impact on prospects for improved u.s.- dprk ties. the entire world is increasingly taking note of the grave human rights violations in the dprk. the united nations high commissioner for human rights has called for an inquiry to document abuses. we support this call. next week my colleague will travel to attend a session where he will call attention to north korea's human rights record and urge adoption of an enhanced mechanism of inquiry into the regime's abuses. the obama administration's policy of engagement and
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pressure recognizes that only a policy of openness to dialogue, when possible, combined with robust pressure of sanctions when necessary, can maximize prospects for progress in denuclearizing north korea. genuine progress requires fundamental shifts in north korea's leadership. the leadership must choose between provocation and peace, isolation, or integration. north korea will not achieve security, economic prosperity, and integration into the international community while it pursues weapons, while it threatens its neighbors, and while it tramples on international norms and abuses its people and refuses to fulfill its longstanding obligations and commitments. the leadership in pyongyang faces increasingly sharp choices, and we're working with our friends and allies to
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further sharpen these choices, if the north korean regime is going to embark on a path to denuclearization for the benefit of the north korean people, the northeast asian region, and the world. thank you again for this chance to appear before you today, and i am happy to try to address any questions you may have. thank you. >> thank you. we will start a round, and let me just take off of that, your almost closing comment that you made, that progress depends on north korea changing its strategic calculus. the question is, what is it that we and our allies can do to affect that calculus so it moves in a different direction, and in that context, it isn't the key here china and its potential
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influence with the north koreans? and if that is the case, how is it that we get the chinese to be more robust in their efforts to get north korea to change its calculus? >> you have asked the biggest question that can be asked about north korean policy, and you are hitting on key themes. changing north korea's calculus is proving to be a challenge. administrations of both strikes have been at this at least since ronald reagan was president, and one can argue even before that. what we are trying to do is continuing to present a united front in terms of concentric circles, extending to our
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partners in the six-part process, and going beyond that to try to build an international coalition that understands the threat that north korea poses to the international system, not just on proliferation, but on human rights and how it comports itself with the international financial system and so forth. north korea appears not yet to be absorbing those lessons, but we will continue to sharpen them, working with colleagues and with our friends. on a more basic level, we are working very closely as we have for decades with our south korean ally to ensure that should north korea miscalculate and we call on them not to do that, once again, in the face of these new threats emerging from pyongyang, even in recent hours and days -- and how we work with
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the south koreans to make sure we are ready from an alliance standpoint militarily to deal with any threats that arise. that is very much at the macro level, how we are dealing with this problem. you mentioned china. you're absolutely right. china is a critical piece of this challenge. they are north korea's closest neighbor. they are often north korea's protector, and certainly an ally of north korea. they have had a special relationship of sorts for quite a while. we're concentrating a lot of diplomatic energy and effort on deepening our dialogue with china, to present the proposition that there is still a peaceful diplomatic way forward to deal with the north korean issue. it will not work and cannot work unless china steps up in
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bringing home to pyongyang the choices it faces and setting the table for any return to negotiations. i am afraid the history of trying to draw north korea into talks that can deal with its nuclear program, its missile program, and all the other issues we're concerned about has not been fully successful, because the north koreans have been able to split us. we think it is time to work more closely with china, but also of course with our close allies and other partners in the six-part process to bring home -- >> for china, it seems to me there are two calculuses here. they can deal with us at united nations, which is pursue a new set of sanctions, and that will
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rattle the north koreans, or they can choose to cut back on that which is essential to north korean existence, which is its assistance in fuel as well as other sources. that would be far more significant. from your perspective, what is the chinese calculus? they have not chosen -- now they are joining us, which is a welcome thing that that has occurred at the council, but they have a much bigger, more significant ability by virtue of the incredible assistance it gives north korea. >> the safest thing to say about china is it is cooperating. yesterday we were greeted with the news that chairman mao's grandson, a general in the people's liberation army, called on north korea to move forward on denuclearization.
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they are developed in china. one could describe it as the beginning of debate about how china will deal with its neighbor. relations have not always gone smoothly of late between the two countries. i do not think it is up to us to figure out how to engage too deeply in that internal dialogue and china, but those are helpful sides. you're right, china is always the get-out-of-jail-free card for north korea. they can provide ways for the north koreans to export, import materials. china is part of the security council. i have been given a note that the resolution has passed. china has played a bigger role in crafting that resolution that contains the provisions we talked about. there are signs that china is beginning to step up more robustly to play its role.
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they say they enforce these sanctions. we take them at their word. we trust to verify at the front, and will continue to engage the chinese to deepen our dialogue and to insure the chinese do the maximum amount they can to deal with this problem. >> senator corker. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you for your testimony. i hear of the things that you are working on, and we thank you for your work, and we understand this has been going on for 20 years in too many administrations, but when you talk about verifiable denuclearization, it seems to me that we can just continue to go in the opposite direction, and while we talk about additional sanctions in the security council, it feels to me more like we're at a crossroads, that this is not about additional stages, but we're at a crossroads where if something it
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does not happen soon, there is no way that we can begin talking about verifiable denuclearization. do you agree with that, or to you think adding on additional pressures and the way we have been doing it will work? >> i think it has been a combination of all the above, plus more. we need to continue to press north korea when necessary, and right now it is necessary to do that because they are in a provocation staged, so you are getting a reaction from the security council. pressure to sanctions is important. we need to stay strong, and our alliance with the rok, japan, continues to sharpen and deepen our capabilities. it is important to build this international coalition. 80 nations is somewhat stunning, nations like south africa, brazil. even the communist countries laos and vietnam are condemning this most recent nuclear test.
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the greek chorus out there in the world is growing in volume. you're right, that is only good as far as it goes, because what is most important is to change north korea's calculus, so we also need to be ready to engage north korea in authentic talks if we can ever see that they are prepared to take a real step to denuclearization and address our concerns. i think all of those can things are exceedingly important, and also very quickly we need to take account of what we have achieved over the last 60 years. in south korea, we have worked with them, helped them create a bit of an economic miracle. i think the ratio is now 36-1 in terms of the amount of goods and services produced per capita versus the average north korean. things are not going well in terms of the correlation of
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forces when it comes to north korea right now. i think we move on all these fronts, diplomatically, militarily, in terms of the international coalition. we need to keep drawing attention to their human rights, and by continuing to press them and continuing to present to them the opportunity should they choose to accept it, to come talk to the international community and find a different way forward, away from provocations, away from threats and move toward a different feature that is absolutely available for them. i am at least guardedly optimistic that at some point they will see that is the way to go, and i think that is why we need to stay true to that. >> you talked about insuring japan and south korea and allies understand we are going to be there to protect them, and yet you are aware we are not
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investing in modernization in our own country regarding our nuclear armament. does that concerns the allies that we are not doing the things in our own country to ensure that that deterrence is there? >> to be fair, i work for the state department, and that is a question for our defense planners, but i can take a bit of a stab at it. i have not seen in my frequent travels in japan in the rok that there are deep concerns that our commitment to them is that all in jeopardy, and because we have begun this pivot to asia, we have begun to devote even more research into the asian theater, and that is going to reassure them. >> the mechanism that is funding
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this nuclear activity uses illicit activities, and we have ways of countering that. there are people who are saying we should call the entire north korean government as a money- laundering concern, and we could then invovlve the third- party candidates, some of which might reside in china. can you talk to us about ways of getting involved in stopping illicit activity so it is not finding what they're doing from a nuclear standpoint, and what are your thoughts about us being involved in cutting down on entities that are allowing that money to flow through? >> some of the sanctions that have been part of the many resolutions to get at this, it is important we remain vigilant >> at present they are not doing
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what needs to be done. some of the sanctions get at that, but we are still not stopping the flow of money to these nuclear activities from a list of concerns. is there more that we should be doing there? >> we are slowly doing that, and that is good because it makes it more difficult for the north koreans to gain the input they need for their program. it is important that in a kind of all aspects of policy to look at that, that is something we continue to work on, and it is interesting if you look at the trend of great number of years there was a time that, not too many years ago, these problems with methamphetamine exports, with counterfeiting cigarettes and drugs, this was really epidemic. i am not saying it is not a problem. it is, and we are vigilant about
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it, but a lot of the steps we're taking did a good job of making it more difficult for them to do that. a lot more work to do, no question about it, and it ought to be a focus of attention. >> my time is up, but i want to say i agree with efforts to point out the human rights issues that are taking place. that would help us build an even greater coalition, and i would like to share some point how we might influence citizens through better broadcast activity taking place there. take you for your testimony, and i look forward to the rest of your answer. >> thank you. thank you, ambassador, for being here, and i very much appreciate your service and willingness to go in to these difficult situations. could you tell us with regard to the wmd programs, what is the
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current estimate on when north korea would have a warhead- missile combination that could strike the united states, and what are the most effective means of this occurring or-- n emeans of precurring or slowing down progress in that area? >> great question. it is a subject of a lot of debate among some highly qualified experts in the government and among the experts community beyond, people like a professor at stanford, who has expertise. >> he was the director of our laboratory at los alamos. >> that is exactly right. what i am going to have to do is take a dive, because you're asking a question that does good deeply into intelligence matters, and i do not want -- i would rather not get into what i know, and i got to be honest, i
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am not an expert on these matters. as a general pop the -- as a general proposition, what is written in the literature, they from theo firs far-off estimates as alluded. i'm sorry, i cannot get into those highly classified intelligence matters. >> i want you to give us a general answer as you did. i think various folks have talked about a matter of months or even a year or so in those kinds of situations. i'm sure we will be hitting briefings on that. a lot has been said about china's great cyber wall, which blocks information critical of the communist party or policies from the chinese people. but my understanding is that north korea has an even more robust restrictive policy in
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terms of the internet. it seems to me that one of the things we are seeing around the world, when you see democracy movements, is the internet playing a role, people being connected, people turning out in the streets as a result of that interconnectedness. you may have noticed recently and i know the administration didn't bless this, but our former governor, governor richardson and eric schmidt recently visited to promote an open internet in north korea. should the united states be actively engaged in helping to create access to the internet in north korea? and do you believe that this is in the interest of the north korean people as well as other countries in the region? >> great question.
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and it is in our interest to do that but it's a tough target to convince the north koreans to open up. while we weren't crazy about the time of the trip to pyongyang, i was interested to see him make those statements. funny things are happening in north korea that could eventually have an effect. you have 1.5 million cell phones now ,mostly among the elite and on a closed system. hume limits there, not able to access the outside. but nonetheless it promotes the spread of information within north korea. we know from lots of good studies that have been done by private organizations
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interviewing these 23,000 north korean refugees who found their way to south korea that there is a surprising degree of understanding about the world outside their borders. south korean soap operas are popular and it is probably a bit of a shock when they get a thumb drive and watch one of these to see south koreans with one or two cars in their garages. so i think the media picture is changing. that is happening organically because of the trade between china and north korea and i think we do need to look at entrepreneurial ways to promote more of that, get more information in. i think broadcasting is a part of that. the broadcasting board of
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governors spends a lot of time on this issue. we work with the r.o.k. on that as well. we work with private groups. there are a number of organizations who work hard to try to alleviate the challenges faced by average north koreans and their presence in the country i think is a great way to bring to the north koreans an image of what americans and the outside world are like. so i think across all of these fronts, there is much that is happening.
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there is much more to do and i'm very glad you raised it. ambassador, back to the nuclear weapons and i think this is less in the classified area, is getting north korea to dismantle the weapon the goal of u.s. policy and under what conditions might north korea give up its nuclear weapons? >> it is still the goal of u.s. policy to achieve a korean p/e anyone you is la that is free of that. we had a few short range went thans we had there. we know this is not going to happen over night even if we're able to get some sort of diplomatic process started. i was personally engaged in following up the work that steve bosworth did before he left my position to try to draw out the north koreans to begin a process to go down that road and bound their nuclear program and give them up. i think there is still a chance for i did police woman ma si, there is still a chance for talks to work. but it will require a united front. and most of all, it will require a change of calculus in pyongyang. and that is what we're working to. i'm hopeful we can get to that. i'm hopeful in a generation we can see a different picture. >> thank you for being here with us. this is a difficult assignment you've been given by evidence of the fact that ambassador rodman visited north korea and wasn't
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able to accomplish much either. >> but he gave up the baseline. >> you said a moment ago you are guardedly optimistic. that at some point this could be resolved through negotiations. i want to share my impressions and get your impressions of that. some of this is not novel but i want to share it with you and get your impressions. my impressions are that the north korean regime seeks legitimacy for who they are and what they are. they want the world to accept them as a nuclear power. they want to be legitimized as a world government despite all the atrocities they commit and all the weird things they do abroad. and they want to be insulated from foreign interference in their affairs. and they've concluded the only way to accomplish these things is by being a nuclear power which and their strategy is this
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series of escalations with potential offramp as long the way they conduct. they conduct weapons test. they say outrageous things like they are going to -- i forth the rhetoric used a week ago about wiping out the u.s. forces if they conduct a joint exercise. they said they are going to strike us here in the homeland. they use this rhetoric and actions they take to scare people or get a reaction from the world towards one goal. and that one goal is very simple, to get the world to say fine north korea regime, you can keep your weapons and we'll accept you for who you are. that's their goal. i don't know how we can negotiate them out of that position at this point. they decide do we want to be kadafi or hussein.
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and once we have the capability of striking the u.s. at the homeland, they will have no choice but to accept us and everything they do between now and then is to delay or buy time. that doesn't mean i also hope one day they will wake up and say this is bad for us. i just don't think a government like this can survive if they had to get rid of their weapons and engage the world in a civilized way. my concern is -- why does this matter? number one, because i believe if injury japan or south korea or other countries in the region. if north korea continues to expand and gets global acceptance of their nuclear program, they are going to want one as well. so this fear of an escalation of nuclear weapons in the region is very real. the second concern is other countries are measuring their behavior. iran is closely watching what happens with north korea.
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they want to be accepted as the government they are. and they want to be insulated from foreign interference and they think a nuclear weapon system is the way to do it and they are watching how north korea is being treated by the global community and determining from that how they need to proceed forward. the reality is i think the best we can hope for is three things. number one we have to delay and preferably prevent them from a goal of reaching the u.s. or the west with these weapons. number two, we should never allow the world to forget who these people are and what they are doing. the list of atrocities is too long for today. they kidnap people abroad. any religion is banned. punishable by death. the list goes on and on. and we need to create the conditions for reunification which is impossible today. but we don't know when the moment comes those conditions become possible. i think we need to do everything we can with our partners in the
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world to create the conditions where we can have a unified peaceful korea. and that's not possible today but we can create the conditions where hopefully that will be possible. who could have predicted east germany would have fallen but it did. we have to strengthen. i know as a diplomat your job is to try to bring a resolution to this. i don't think that is going to happen with this guy. they are convinced the only way they can accomplish what they want is to have a nuclear program.
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>> i don't disagree with anything you've said. this is one of the hardest foreign policy problems out there and not just for this particular administration, but for many predecessor administrations. so you're right about all of that. everything you prescribe i think is being done in one form or another. delaying their acquisition of these materials, working hard to prevent them from proliferating these technologies, never letting people forget the nature of this regime and what it is they've done to their own people, what it is their doing
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to the international system by remaining an outlier. and you talk about creating conditions for unification. wehink here, you're right, need to continue to support the republic of korea. what the r.o.k. has done over the last couple of generations is nothing short of a miracle in terms of the way its pulled itself up by itself boot straps and created the largest economy in the world. become a much stronger nation. and i think we need to do all of this. and we certainly need to work more closely every day with the r.o.k. and its new president to present this united front to north korea. and to do that also more broadly, within hours of their nuclear test, all of the other five parties, china and russian
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i can't included denounced what they had done. >> are we potentially in the midst of a recalibration amongst policy makers in regard to north korea. is it possible we are in the moment that the chinese are looking at the situation and saying they are no longer what they once were? we don't need the headache they are? >> they are clearly not pleased in beijing that every time they try to impress them to take a different path, they thumb their nose at them. we see stunning articles with knowledge poft central authorities. i mentioned you've got the chinese blog sphere are saying what goes here. there is a nuclear test right across the border in north korea. this country is testing weapons 15 years after the last country tested. things are changing in china. will it create a fundamental
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shift? very hard to say but we're watching it closely. >> thank you. >> thank you very much mr. chairman and thank you for your testimony. there are three major challenges that i want to talk about. we've already talked about them. one, it's clear that north korea is moving aggressively on its nuclear weapons program. secondly as senator rubio pointed out, the record on human rights violations is the worst of any country in the world, the way they treat their people, no opportunity for decent or criticisms. they are kidnapping and torture, notorious and the third is the condition of their own people. the level of poverty and hunger. i want to ask you three points that have been raised. one is that north korea has threatened to cut off the military hot line. how important is that in dealing
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with the threat of confrontation? secondly, the united nations is looking at a commission on human rights. should we have any confidence that that, in fact, would put on adequate spotlight on what is happening? and the third is our contact in north korea is limited. we don't have a great deal of ngo's to work with. we are not providing any significant aide at all. should we reevaluate the participation with ngo's to try to deal with the population itself in north korea? >> great questions.
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the hot line cut off, they've done this before. it's one of the things they do on occasion. i don't know that it's necessarily the case this latest threat to cut off the hot line or perhaps they've already cut the line is going to be at the end of the day is going to be different from what we've seen in the past, nonetheless it's serious. >> have we used it in the past? >> yes. at the peace village on the border it's often used to convey messages back and forth. your question about what is happening in geneva and the likely we hope establishment for the first time of a permanent mechanism of a commission inquiry to look at human rights. i think this is a significant development. somewhat stunning this hasn't been the case in the past. but we hope the u.n. is going to take that step. it's not a magic bullet but i think it will be a great way for the entire international community institutionally and indefinitely to look at what is going on in north korea and broadcast to the rest of the world the results of their efforts. >> are there still hurdles that have to be overcome for that
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commission to be established? >> it's not done yet. they haven't looked at it and having served a couple of years i know nothing is done until it's done in u.n. land. but we have i believe there is the right kind of correlation of forces, japan is behind it, the r.o.k. has announced their support for this mechanism. we are actively seeking it. and i mentioned in my statement
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that u.n. officials are behind it and promoting it. i think it's going to happen. and we're going to do what we can to make it happen. and it will have an effect. >> on ngo's, that's a great point. yesterday, during the snow day that wasn't, i was in the office and i was on a wonderful conference call with 7 ngo's many of them religiously based. these people do work in north korea. they do medical programs. they get out of pyongyang and get into the country side and they do everything from tuberculosis work to digging wells and hospitals and dental clinics. and i think it is important to clear the path for them to do what they can do. it's not easy. and one of the concerns they had was about sanctions and whether that will affect their ability to bring things in to do the work they do. i think we need to find a way to
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promote their work because i think that is important that this kind of people to people work go forward. why? because 1/3 of north koreans according to a number of studies are severely chronically malnourished. they are forgotten by the elicit in pyongyang building parks and holding rock concerts. so it's important that we do what we can to work with them. >> we have in past when we've imposed sanctions tried to figure out ways to get direct aid to ngo's we have confidence in to provide humanitarian aid ha is appropriate. do we have confidence if that aid were to be made available that the ngo network is strong enough and there is enough account ability that kecked ensure this the aid went for the designated purpose and was not diverted to compromise the importance of the sanctions? >> well the ngo's take it very seriously. they've got decades of experience. a lot of their work is scaled such that a lot less likely that the regime is going to try to divert the resources they provide, the services to the
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military or the elicit. i've been impressed as i've looked at the specifics of the programs they have under way, they've to a great extent figured out how to do this. and whether it's flood relief or bringing nutritional supplements to malnourished children, they are one of the ways we ought to go. and when we have done big feeding programs in north korea. there was the 500,000 met trick on the program under the previous administration this north koreans cut off only a third of the way into it. and the most recent one we put into place. we do the work through ngo's because they are that good and they ensure that the goods and services they provide get to the right people. >> i make the final point, for congress to allow that type of assistance, we need to know and have confidence that we can account for how the aid is being used since we're not
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present in the country to be able to do that. we have to have that type of confidence, so it's something you need to be able to build up as far as the questions that will be asked in congress. >> thank you, sir. >> thank you mr. chairman. thank you for your testimony. can you bring me up to speed in terms of the progress of the new leader and the consolidation of power and how much of that consolidation really leads to the hi jinx we've been seeing recently? >> that's a really hard target. a lot of terrific intelligence professionals work at that. we stay in touch with allies. i a week ago spent a couple of hours with an ambassador with one of the nations who had lots of insights to provide about the thinking of the government. just as a general matter, i
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think what has happened is kim came into power in december of 2011. there was a period that lasted a few months where everybody was saying this is maybe a new day. one think tank even talked about a cam lot moment occurring in north korea. i wasn't buying any of the stuff at the time and nor were many in government. but what we've seen is that debate has gone away. that the hope for the kind of more enlightened approach to these issues, that's fading fast. i think he has consolidated his power. he's got the six key titles. he's the head of the military and the government. the logic of their system is such. it's such a dictator system that in order for that system to operate as it has for the last three generations, there has to be a man at the top to whom all issues are referred and from whom all wisdom flows. we think that he is for all intents and purposes in charge.
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as to why he's taken the steps he's taken, some of the purges, that's been consolidating his power, firing the generals and so forth. and all of this tough talk, hard to say why they are doing it. i think it's the classical reaction to the fact that community is coming together and making it tougher to operate. i think that's the kind of acting out we see from north korea. >> thank you. i'm new to the committee but i've been watching the laying out of sanctions and relaxing a little bit. basically the dual strategy here. can you tell me in your mind what was the most effective set of sanctions?
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i'll start there. what worked best? i also want you to speak to what mistakes were made? what lessons have we learned in terms of effectiveness of sanctions and how we relax them and how the united states has been played like charlie brown more than once here. >> on sanctions the most important sanctions often tend to be the buy into the broadest number of nations and here i talked about the role of china and the importance of working with them to ensure that they follow through on their commitments when it comes to sanctions. what's the most effective set of sanctions? that's hard to say. i'm tempted to say the sanctions that have helped to cut off the flow of luxury goods is pretty important because it's prevented the regime to some extent of rewarding members of the elite.
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but i think a more serious answer is the sanctions that are getting at the nuclear program, getting at the missile program, preventing the inputs they need in order to build up the mass destruction weapon program. those are important. the latest resolution i was given a note that was passed contains not only a tightening of existing sanctions, but it's got some new sanction that is get at that problem. i think we need to keep building on that. i think what you'll see is there will then be national sanctions that will be by us and others that will tighten down sanctions further. but i think it's in the nuclear and missile areas where the sanctions are having the most effect. and finally interdiction which is to say and this new resolution has a lot of good stuff in it about preventing the export by north korea of its armaments which is a key source of income by sea and by air.
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and there is a lot in this resolution that gets at that. need think that's what we to keep working on. >> didn't we freeze bank accounts for leaders? ofwe've done a number financial sanctions. there are more in this resolution approved just minutes ago. there are individual designations of key people and their apparatus who play key roles in exporting their materials, importing what they
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need to build up their programs. travel bans on these individuals and so forth. ofit's a combination individual designation s, institutional designations and the inputs, the actual machinery and technology that they need. we just need to push on all of these fronts and keep it up. >> the word recalibration was mentioned and strategic calculus. of the members of the six party talk, what has been the most significant recalibration of the strategic calculus, whether it's russia, china, japan, can you speak to that? where has been the move just to give me a sense of that history? >> i think the movement, i have to admit it's like watching paint dry sometimes it's such a long process. i think the movement has been incremental. all of the various efforts and there have been quite a variety
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of approaches to this problem by various administrations in the past, whether engagement, whether pressure, different architectures internationally, there were six party talks, four party talks. at one point here. and bosworth can speak to a great deal of this. i think the biggest change has been the steady accumulation of experience, of pressure, of sanctions, over the years, over the decades and i think that's made a huge difference. then the final thing i'll say is that the world is beginning to weak up to a greater extent to this problem. there were 80 nations from every corner of the world would issue statements condemning north korea's nuclear test. this coalition is building, it's growing, it's strengthening and it's meaningful. because these are people who sent messages to north korea and to china. it's very difficult in an international system for a
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nation like north korea to ignore the fact that increasingly their actions are seen as deleterious to the functioning of the world system and to the interest of these countries. hard for me to point to one calibration that's occurred. maybe what's going on in china will fit that bill. but i would just say it's this incremental broadening pressure that's been important. >> thank you very much. i wanted to start by talking about the north korean economy. there is a popular impression that the north korean economy is a vast waste land of work camps and starving people, while that is true for a big part of the country, there is a relatively stable economy in the capital. there is a class of ruling elicit that are doing fairly well. you mentioned briefly about the
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impact that euro sanctions have had on holding back luxury goods from that class of individuals that has seemingly been pretty resistant to the type of poverty that has struck the rest of the nation. can you talk a little bit about the state of the north korean economy? can you talk a little bit about our relative success or lack of success in trying to change the calculus for the ruling elite based on their economic 1259 us the and any new tool may be at our dispose toll try to change that? >> well, the economy question is a great one. and there are a number of experts who look that the hard. it's tough to measure. they don't produce statistics that are reliable. the scope of it, many people are fooled when they go to pyongyang which as i've said is a bit of a walled city state, you can't easy get in or out where the elicit live. you see people with cell phones and cars in the street and restaurants and they conclude that north korea is really
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coming up in the world economically. i don't think that is the case. they have some goods and services to offer to the world. they have mineral deposit that is are of value to china which seeks to exploit them. they export laborers to places around the world who remit moneys to north korea. their economy is in some sectors has done reasonably well but the problem is their agriculture sector remains unreformed. when the new leader came in, he made a number of promises at hinted at reforms he would institute. we have yet to see that for whatever reason. he seems to have drawn back from going forward with those reforms. to some extent the reform of the economy would be good for
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the people. the chinese are telling us we should help the north koreans reform their economy and i beg to differ on that. >> the second question is this: >> the second question is this: so to what extent is food aid an actual tool to recalibrate their strategic interest? we have had success in these temporary agreements by exchanging food aid for concessions on their nuclear program. but it can blow up within months. is this a real pressure point in negotiations or have they just used this as a means to delay and postpone? >> i think the latter is the case. we don't link food assistance to political matters. what i found when i came into the process towards the end of our year long effort to negotiate this deal with the north koreans that was the
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north koreans were insisting that the offer we made of 240 tons be linked to the concessions they were going to make only nuclear missiles. they enforced that from their side. we don't use food as a weapon or a tool and we don't link it to political matters. and no country has been more generous than the united states over the years in providing food to the north korean people. i think since 1997, it's been on the order of some $800 million of food. so we support the people of north korea. we try, and it's not easy, to bring them aid and comfort, bring them food because it's quite clear that the authorities in pyongyang don't care about what happens in the inner land of north korea and they allow this malnutrition and sometimes starvation to occur.
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so we don't link the two. i would never put forward that food aid is something we should use as an inducement to political change or change on denuclearization. >> and then one last question on china and you may have responded to this. but in particular to what senator rubio talked about with regard to the arms race that could develop in the region, we can control the north koreans if we are responsible for 70% of their economy. even if they do get nuclear power capacity, we can deal with that. but they have to understand that
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the power shifts if ten or 15 years from now there are five nuclear powers in the region s. -- is that a bright line for them? do they view that as a serious threat? >> sure. the last thing i'll do is speak for the chinese on this. but there are sign that is the chinese are watching closely these debates that are occurring in japan and the r.o.k. among some. i don't think any consensus is developing or will develop in favor of going forward with developing nuclear weapons. i hope not. it's important for the standpoint of the non- proliferation treaty they not go forward in doing that. the chinese are taking notice and it concerns them. one of the things we say to them when we have conversations about what is happening in north korea is if you have concerns about america's kind of recalibration of its force
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posture toward asia, then if north korea continues to go on the same direction and we can't resolve it, you'll see more of the same and you're not going to like it. yule see more developments such as the extension of the r.o.k. by the range of its missiles. you'll see more developments like the placement of radars in japan. you'll see more on missile defense and on the rest of it. so you have some voices in china saying it's the united states trying to encircle us. that's not it at all. we're trying to defend ourselves. they know these phenomenon are related and we hope it becomes an incentive for them to step up and do more and try to resolve this problem. and we stand ready to work with the chinese 20 do that. >> thank you. i'm going to pick up on the
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chairman's opening question which is what is the right way to change the calculus and many questions have been about external measures and i want to get to those in a second. but i'd like to get your sense of internal measures. nations that have abandoned nuclear programs, often it's been an internal calculus that's caused them to do. so in looking at the arab spring, people grow to tolerate and live under dictatorships but they get restless under he are red tear dictator ships. at once dictatorship starts to become a hereditary dictatorship there is unrest and the population wants to throw it off.
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let's talk about the internal dynamics of north korea and educate me a bit on that. is there any potential for internal decent that could drive a rethinking of the nuclear program? and is there anything we can appropriately do? it's like hydrofracking, is there anything we can appropriately do to drive that decent and increase snit >> we don't see signs of significant internal descent north korea. and maybe that's often the case before changes occur, i don't know. that presents a challenge to us where do you drill and what do you pump in that whole to engage in this kind of fracking.
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i love that image. it's tough. and i think the important thing is to keep firing on all cylinders. to keep broad casting into north korea and work with our allies. work with n.g.o.'s. i think the situation is changing in north korea. they are educated. i think many of them are hungry for information about what is happening on the outside. but when it comes to the classical stuff we all know from history about is there a unit of the army or is there somebody in the regime who is susceptible. there is nothing like that that presents itself to us that we can exploit or reach out to. and it makes it a very, very tough problem. >> explain that as somebody who
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is an expert in this area, the absence of this kind of visible descent. and nurfwood touch with nature that is have diplomatic presence in north korea. is it the sheer demoralization and poverty of those who don't have any credible ability to match up against a military power? is it the long term affects of famine? how would you describe what we're seeing elsewhere we don't see there given famine and the poor economic conditions that would drive decent elsewhere? >> sure. that's really hard for me to answer. i'm not a life long north korea expert. i don't think we're going to know if and when that opportunity necessarily presents itself any better than we have in recent years when we've seen dramatic change in parts of the world where there were dictatorial systems.
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and the problem with north korea is it is the most sealed, high walled paranoid state out there. i don't think it really has it's equivalent anywhere in the world. >> since albania fell, maybe it doesn't have an equivalent. >> i have to admit even though a lot of very dedicated qualified people work this issue in the intelligence community n our military out of the state department. and we do that on a daily basis, there isn't anything there that i could point to now that is the pressure point, the fisher that we can exploit. i keep coming back to the necessity for staying true to our principles, staying close to our allies, working hard with
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our partners, in particular china given their relationship, highlighting the human rights deprivations in north korea. and i believe that there will come a day when things will likely change. i don't think that north korea has forever to make the strategy choice to go in a different direction that will involve reaching out to the world and fulfilling its promises and going down the path of denuclearization. 24e have an off ramp. there is a way to work this out diplomatically we've given them time and time again. it.'ve chosen not to do we'll continue to do it. when the pounds per square inch pressure builds up enough, they will see the light and take door number one.
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>> let me ask about the five parties to the six party talks and china especially. but there are other nation that is we have strong relationships with that aid and abet or at least have interactions with the north korean government that help them to gain or continue momentum on their activity that are not the direct part of those talks. but talk about our abilities to utilize those relationships and either through the u.n. action today or other actions get them to stop anything that would promote north korea's forward momentum on nuclear proliferation? >> that's a great question. we work at it all the time. there have been some successes. you're familiar with the burma example where the new
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government has made the strategic decision to go in a different direction and change the nature of its relationship with north korea. that's very important. that will take time to play out and work through. the same is true of many of the other traditional customers or states that have dealt with north korea. since the al cabar reactor was taken care of in syria, i think that's a relationship that is no longer what it was. so i think the truth is we take it case by case. we work with these countries that still maintain an arms relationship with north korea. i think the effort to expand the international coalition and consensus about north korea is important because the moral has saturday of dealing with north korea becomes a more important factor for many of these countries.
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but i guess the short and honest answer is it's a case by case effort that we undertake and we're seeking to step it up. and this resolution passed today in new york i think is going to help us to a great extent to get at that problem. >> thanks very much. >> i just want to ask and i'm not sure how this has been asked or answered before. but do you believe for the reductions on our part as a result of the treaties will do anything to persuade the north koreans to move ahead with reductions or not move ahead with what they are doing? how effective is what we do with their own actions or is that completely independent? >> here i can draw on my couple of years working at the national atomic energy agency where in the wake of speech where he said a world without nuclear
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weapons, i found representing the u.s. in that body, 150 nation body that that had a tremendous effect on convincing a lot of the fence is iters around the world that the united states was serious about trying to move forward. if you go back to eisenhower's nuclear bargain which he laid out in the speech it was clear those with nuclear weapons would seek to get rid of them. those without would pledge not to acquire them. so for many countries in the world the united states demonstrating that its serious about keeping up its end of the bargain has a tremendous effect.
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when it comes to north korea, i'm not going to spin you and tell you the north koreans are going to pack up their nuclear weapons and give them up if we pass further treaties with russia and so forth. but it has a tremendous affect on all 189 countries of the treaty and it makes it easier for us and others who care about this treaty to move that agenda forward, reduces north korea's running room, makes it tougher for them to climb they need these went tons defend themselves. so i think it's a vital aspect of winning over hearts and minds globally and eventually setting up asset of circumstances in which it's very, very difficult, if not, one hopes eventually impossible for them to continue to maintain as an international outlier to maintain nuclear weapons. >> i listened to you and i know that you are working hard and many people have for many years.
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but i think have you acquiesced and said this is probably going to continue on and we don't see any changes and more pressure will be a34r50eud. i'm curious. we have a situation with iran where there is a red line. and we've been pretty bellicose about the line we would use military action to keep them from having nuclear weapons. and in korea, equally nutty folks and human rights even worse. why is it we have a policy in north korea that is so different than in iran when you have equally bellicose and i would say regime that is are rogue regimes. why would we have such a different policy? >> actually the policy has more
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commonalities than differences in both cases what we seek to do, as i said earlier, in the case of north korea use pressure when we have to use pressure and seek to exploit engagement when it's possible to engage them. i don't agree there's been no change. i think that the pressure, the sanctions, the coalitions we've built, the work in six party, a lot of the diplomatic efforts went a great distance to -- >> they are certainly way past any kind of red line that we would accept in iran. they are way beyond anything we as a country stated publically we would accept in iran. it seems to me we have two very different policies.
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i'm just curious why that is the case? >> i think we have two situation that is have developed. and i think it's because of the different set of circumstances in both. i'm not an iran expert. i could quickly get myself in trouble by trying to compare the iran case to the north korea case. but as the north korea case developed. i think we have slowed their efforts to create these weapons. i think we've built this coalition that is going to don't decrease their running room and space in which they can operate. i have faith if we stick with the principle that is have be devised in a bipartisan basis over 20 or 30 years that we will see the kind of changes we would like to see. and i'm sorry, it's true, these are persistent problems. this is the land of a lot of bad alternatives.
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and so i think the way you deal wit you is stick to your principles, you stick to your allies. you have modest progress here, sometimes dramatic progress there. occasionally there are set backs but you keep at it. american leadership is essential. it's born a lot of fruit. sadly it hasn't changed the strategic situation yet. but if we keep at it, if we keep together, we are going to see sooner or later, hope it's sooner, the kind of changes we hope are needed and i want to re-emphasize this one point, it's up to north korea to understand that it has another path that it can take. it has a partner in the international community that will engage with north korea but it has to be the one to make this decision, make this strategic choice to ban nuclear weapons and if they do there will be a different future and one that will be for the benefit of all the careen people
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north and south. >> i think that's a highly aspirational statement that doesn't seem to be based on reality today. but i thank you for your optimism. and i'll go back to my original premise and would like to understand that more fully. thank you. >> let me make an observation. first of all, we're very aspirational here. >> you have to be on north korea. >> i think in part just an observation on the question which is that obviously one of the reasons we have so vigorously pursued a sanctions regime on iran is because y van not where north korea is in terms of its nuclear program and we do not desire it to get to the point north korea has. whether or not it was a different point in time maybe a previous administration should have adopted a similar position
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as we have now with iran. we are past that moment. and the question is how do we deal with the realities of the moment and change the calculus inside north korea and i hope the strategic calculus of china which plays a key role of getting us to the point we want to be. with the thanks of the committee. we appreciate your appearing and we look forward to the continuing dialogue and the administration on this critical issue. as we excuse ambassador davies let me call up the next panel. he served as the u.s. special representative for north korea policy. from 1997 to 2001. ambassador bosworth was the ambassador to the republic of korea.
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he was the executive director of the korean organization and japan. and ambassador bosworth has a distinguished career in the u.s. foreign service for nearly three decades. joseph is the president of the intelligence and national security aligns. he previously worked as the senior advisor in the office of the director of national intelligence, proliferation center and as the north korean mission manager. prior to his work at odni he served as the special envoy for north korea. he's worked in numerous roles throughout the central intelligence agency and has extensive experience in that regard as well.
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robert joseph is the senior scholar for public policy from 2005 to 2007 it was the secretary of state for arms control and national security. and he served in the national security council as special assistant to the president in home lapped defense. he also served on the department of defense as secretary of defense for international security policy and deputy assistant secretary of defense in arms control which we have a very distinguished panel here. i'm going to ask each of you to summarize your statement in around five minutes. your full statements will be entered into the record so we
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can have time for dialogue here as we move forward. we want to pick up on your expertise to draw some of questions and answers to some of the issues that's already been raised with our previous panel. so we'll start in the order that i recognized you. ambassador bosworth. >> thank you very much mr. chairman. i'm grateful for the opportunity to appear before the committee. i will not try to summarize the current scene with regard to north korea. i think ambassador davis did that quite well. i would say a few things as an opening. first, this is a very, very difficult problem. and it follow that is there are no good options for dealing with it. if there were, i trust that some of us would have found those in the past. instead i think what we've found is that north korea by
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enlarge has continued to exceed -- continued to exceed what they could accomplish both in their missile program and their nuclear program. having followed this issue for now 20 years, i would venture to say they have consistently outperformed the expectations of the outside world. and i don't think we have time to get into the question of why. but they have created a situation in which now they are demonstrable within reach over some period of time of being able to mate a nuclear device with a missile. and that changes the strategic balance in a number of ways. as i said, the options for dealing with them are very limited and very ob cure.
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we can as we have in the past as various times simply stand back and wait for what we consider at the time to be the inevitable collapse. that policy has not succeeded. we waited for their collapse back in the late 1980's and when i last checked, they are still there. similarly, we can rely on a policy of containment and deterrence which we will have to do in any event. but i think what we've found is detainment and deterrence do not prevent the threat from growing more acute. also we can, of course, as has been hinted in various questions this morning, we can rely more heavily on china to solve this problem for us. i am not optimistic that china is going to do that.
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i am encouraged by their willingness to continue plate tougher sanctions as they have this last time around in the u.n. but i think china continues to face an essential conundrum which is on the one hand they do not want north korea to become a nuclear state, on the other hand, they do not want north korea to collapse. in their view they are concerned that bringing sufficient pressure to bear on north korea to stop their nuclear program, much less to demantle it would risk creating a situation in which north korea could collapse. and for china, an equally undesirable outcome of all of this would be to wake up and find the border of south korea is now the river because it's collapsed and south korea with a military aligns of the united states. that changes in a fundamental way what has been called the correlation of forces on the korean peninsula and chinese strategic thinkers have this very much in mind.
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all this being said, my own personal view is that at some point, i cannot say exactly when, but i would think sooner rather than later, we will come back to an effort to engage with north korea. in some manner only because the alternatives are so bleak. and i think that that is what we should try to do because we have no good options. the question that will exist at that time is, engage on what basis? do we again seek to engage on the basis of denuclearization pretty much by itself at least as a primary objective, or do we seek to engage on a broader basis going back for example, to the joint statement negotiated in the six-party process in september of 2005 in which all the parties signed on to a four goals, and for your objective -- four objective agreement.
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they agreed to provide energy and economic assistance to north korea. in my view it would be more productive to look from the outset to engage with north korea on the basis of that broader agenda which seeks in my judgment to get at what is the fundamental problem on the korean peninsula. the problem which gives rise to the nuclear threat and that is the inherent weakness of north korea and the strong conviction of the north korean regime that it will not do anything which will risk its demise. only by my judgment, only by addressing these broader considerations of a peace treaty to replace the armistice,
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economic and energy assistance, and diplomatic relations, do we have a prospect of getting at where it remains and will remain our central and abiding concern which is the north korean nuclear problem. rather than simply focusing on that and try to identify it and to try to resolve it, in and of itself, which is not proving to be very feasible over the last several years, we would be much better off looking for a broader focus and i think the prior agreement of september, 2005 provides the seed for such a broader agreement. and with that, i will conclude my remarks. >> thank you for the invitation. my statement is on the record. a few comments. i agree with senator bondsworth. denuclearization is the name of the game with north korea.
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committing north korea to maintain that program and as we see, enhance their program with additional nuclear weapons not only plutonium but uranium, would be a destabilizing factor for the countries in the region. it is a fair question. countries will be looking to acquire similar capabilities, we're talking about the potential for a nuclear arms race and the potential for nuclear terrorism. others who want to get their hands on nuclear devices. in 2002 we confronted the north koreans with their uranium enrichment program.
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it was a clandestine program. they denied having that program. in 2010 the admitted to it. they had 2000 functioning centrifuges operating. as he said this was the state of the art facility. austria was and is ensuing the uranium enrichment program to a company nuclear program. point to and i agree totally with the ambassador, the september 2005 joint statement as a single statement. kim jong il committed to this when he said even in beijing they commit. and it says clearly in exchange for economic assistance, security assurances, ultimately diplomatic relations with the address the illicit activity issues of counterfeiting currency and pharmaceuticals and cigarettes, trafficking in methamphetamine. and where this -- there is transparency on the human rights issues, then we would talk about diplomatic relations.
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with denuclearization comes normalization, no. that is a process toward normalization. hopefully that would be enough of an inducement and the north koreans signed up to the statement and also in that statement, the provision of eight light-water reactor. they have a bright to a civil nuclear program and is in there. coming back as a non-nuclear weapon state back to the ntt and so forth. that fell apart. on 19 september the north koreans were offended by the fact we had [inaudible] that was the patriot act, section 311 and that was the predicate being money laundering. north koreans or laundering their money. there retained $25 million of
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the money current -- north korea had in the bank. eventually the bank was in compliance and the money was returned. it was referring to returning to our banking system. the north koreans insisted they did not want to get back into the international financial market. thank god it is back on the path to and denuclearization. we eventually took them off the list of state sponsors of terrorism. that was to be in response to north korea committing to a verification regime that moves us toward comprehensive, verifiable irreversible dispense and of their programs. they refuse to sign a verification protocol and that
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led to the unraveling of where we were with the september 2005 joint statement and that is unfortunate because it has gone downhill ever since. in 2006, 2009, nuclear tests, missile launches, we have seen in 2012, and we have seen last month in february with the third nuclear test. north korea is enhancing their nuclear capability and enhancing capabilities. china in april of 2003 brought north korea to the table after holding back on some fuel that went into north korea. it sent a message. come to the table. that was the beginning of the six party process. my personal view is china can do the same thing. we bring south korea to the process and sit down no. 3 and say what are you doing? is kim jong un committed to denuclearization? and determine if there is any viability to go back to the joint statement.
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that is a process and that is a meaningful one and my last comment is, i was one of the few in 2012 who was optimistic. i saw some personnel moves being made by kim jong un. he replaced his ministry of defense and replaced his chief of staff. he put people in there, the party officer who is overseeing the military general. he put his uncle into a high position where he treated -- there was some momentum and that fell apart. because of the process. they just launched an they tested and that has come to this position where we're at. a very dangerous stalemate. the chinese now can move this process forward. get them to the table and get some momentum going rather than continued escalation and
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potential for confrontation. >> thank you. ambassador joseph. would you put your microphone on, please? >> thank you for the invitation to be here and to testify. i will try to be very brief. while one can argue and i think some would legitimately that u.s. policy has succeeded in slowing the north's progress and galvanizing international support, the successes that we have reached that we have achieved our at best, tactical. as president john adams once said, the facts are stubborn things and today, north korea has declared itself to be any clear power. and it seems determined and well on its way to acquire the means to hold american cities hostage to their long-range missiles and nuclear weapons. i see a long pattern of failed policies that must be changed.
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this change should be based on experience, not on hope and is on this basis that i offer the following lessons learned from my own experience. north korea will only agree to abandon its missile and nuclear programs if it is judged essential for survival. the d p r k places the highest values on the these cable -- on these capabilities. these are means of preventing intervention such as occurred in libya. they are building prestige at home and earn hard currency. the north has used its nuclear program to extract inducements to those who seek its elimination. the should be seen as a long shot. at times previous administrations have thought they were all but there. but it never happened, whether
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it was in 1992 and 1994, orion 2005. p'yongyang would agree to abandon its nuclear program only to violate its commitments each time. this pattern of failed negotiations followed by violations of obligations, provocations, and the offering of more inducements in turn by the u.s. and others to get north korea back to the negotiating table, has been the main characteristic of u.s. policy for two decades. the u.s. and others have and will no doubt continue to apply sanctions on the north but imposing economic hardships and threatening isolation have not alter the regime's behavior. in part, this is because the dprk cares little about whether it's people start and the ability is dependent on isolation. in part it's because china has kept open all lifeline of assistance to the north no matter how blatant or lethal its activities and it is in part because of our own practice in releasing pressure on north korea in exchange for empty promises.
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the record of failed negotiations is not an argument that diplomacy should be abandoned. but negotiations by themselves is not a strategy. a comprehensive approach that integrates all tools of state craft is required if negotiations are to have any chance of success. these tools, financial, intelligence, interdiction, law enforcement, and diplomacy and we talked about the mall this morning, must be brought together to bring sustained pressure on the regime. pyongyang must be faced with a choice. it can retain its nuclear and missile programs or pays a high price. it must no longer be allowed to use these programs as a means to extract concessions that only serve to strengthen the regime and perpetuate the missile and nuclear threat. as for diplomacy, our main focus should be on china. the principal obstacle to bring effective pressure on north korea.
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four, the promotion of human rights. while part of u.s. official talking points for years has not been a significant element of u.s. strategy. it should be as it was in the reagan administration and its dealings with the soviet union. exposing the domestic brutality of the regime is the moral course and potentially an effective means to influence dprk leaders. because north korea is likely to retain its as -- nuclear and missile capabilities the u.s. must insure that it can defend against the threat. this requires missile defenses that protect allies and the u.s. will lead from attack, failing to deploy offenses -- defenses that keep pace with the growing threat, whether as a means to encourage russian participation or reduce the budget will only undermine deterrence. and increase the risk of destruction to the united states.
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similarly we must continue to deploy a credible nuclear force that can meet the spectrum of deterrent requirements and provide solid assurance to allies. going to lower and lower levels of forces in pursuit of a nuclear-free world is likely only to embolden our adversaries and shake the confidence of our friends and allies. if our allies doubt our capacity or will to meet security commitments, the outcome will be the reverse of the goal rather than fewer lechler weapons. the u.s. must lead. we have failed to show the required leadership, avoiding confrontation on a number of its most harmful activities including its missile and nuclear proliferation. this absence of leadership affects not only the calculations of p'yongyang but also of tehran where another repressive regime is seeking missile and nuclear capabilities to undermine u.s. interests in a region of vital interest. iran does watch closely u.s. policy and u.s. resolve to reverse what three presidents,
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clinton, president bush, and now president obama have declared to be unacceptable, and nuclear-armed north korea. what they have seen so far is certainly not dissuaded them. thank you again for the invitation of being here. i look forward to your questions. >> thank you. thank you for testimony. -- your testimony. let's start and i would like to have an interplay between ambassador bosworth and -- if this was the best pathway toward achieving our goals, and you suggested that the issue of patriot sanctioning of the bank and the $25 million, that would flow back to north korea and that was a disruptive element in pursuing the process. in any such process there are going to be bumps along the road.
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does that not call into question how serious no. career was in even in this more -- north korea was even in this more expanded process of 2005 to achieving its goal and i would like both of your observations on that. it sounds to me that especially when the money ultimately flow back to north korea that the process would have resumed again if there was a real desire to pursue it. >> you are right. my point on the 2005 was this. we told the north koreans clearly, illicit activities will not be permitted. diplomacy is one thing. you can continue to counterfeit our currency, you continue to deal with the methamphetamine and traffic in methamphetamine and we will continue to go after you. do not marry that to this policy -- diplomacy. the federal registry put that
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out that the bank was being sanctioned because of the predicate of money laundering based on the section 211-311 of the patriot act. that was a message that cannot link them and try to get us to go soft on illicit and human rights and put out denuclearization as a carrot for us to go on. >> while that may have been our message, that did not -- they did not accept that message as a means to move forward. >> they protested and the walk away from the table for about eight months until that money was returned. the bank was in compliance of the work -- they were permitted to return. >> if that is the case and so easily disrupted, how do we see that as the path we forward? >> it is easily disrupted.
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we have seen north korea's adherence is tenuous at best and they have to be continually reassured they're not giving up their pace of negotiating leverage. in return for an empty promises. it is important that as we try to move forward, north korea come away with some conviction that it is not just denuclearization we're going to make progress on. we are encouraging -- making progress on a peace treaty to replace the armistice and that is a very high priority from a north korean point of view as well as diplomatic relations and economic assistance and energy assistance. please understand me. i'm not saying that this is somehow a magic solution to the problem. it is the one piece that we still have that they have agreed to.
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and as -- has constituted a foundation to move forward. they have not disavowed it in that sense. >> there is some pressure reports that suggest you have been on jocose egressions to north korea. i am wondering if you could tell us what was the temperature of the interlocutors that you met with. >> those reports have been addressed to the senate and house intelligence oversight committees and i am not at liberty to discuss it here. >> you have discussed this with the house? >> the house and senate oversight committees have been addressed. these issues have been addressed with these committees. >> we will pursue it with the intelligence committee. let me ask you, with reference to your comment that the chinese were the ones who got the north koreans to the table in 2005 as a result of tweaking them with some of their
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assistance. what was the calculus at that moment that made them do that and how do we think about, how do we get them to make that calculus now? >> april 2003, it was a very tense time. north korea said they were processing the spent fuel rods. they had asked the iaea monitors to leave the country. they left the mpt and asked the auditors to leave in 2003. they advance their reprocessing the spent fuel rods that were in the cooling ponds. with the indication they would represses with the purpose of weapon is asian. -- they would reprocess with the purpose of weaponization.
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how do we defuse this tense situation? a number of days prior to this meeting, there was a few shipments that were not as extensive as they were in the past between the countries and that was the reporting at the time. some analysts at the time, it could have been a message from beijing to the dprk. they should comply and if they're being asked to sit at the table they should sit at the table. >> >> thank you and thank each of you for your testimony and/or past efforts. regarding this issue. it does not sound hopeful to me as i listened to each of you and you agree with that. and let me ask this question.
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we had some discussions about our libya intervention. here we had a person that was not a good person. we had a person who had done away with weapons of mass destruction. we had a person who was working with us with al qaeda. we took them out when they did not have weapons of mass destruction. what kind of learning moment was that for the leadership of north korea? >> i suspect it took lessons from that that were inevitable. they're going to complicate our policy-making with them for the foreseeable future. the most obvious lesson would be if people think you have weapons of mass destruction and you take action to show that you do not have weapons of mass destruction, this gives your adversaries room for maneuver they might have -- might not have had previously. there are legitimate reports that the north koreans came away from iraq and libya with the conviction that if these
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countries had in fact had weapons of mass destruction, what happened to them would not have happened to them. >> the point i was trying to make at the time and -- go ahead. >> i would agree. the message in pyongyang is they saw what happened to sit down and to -- saddam and gadafi. we don't want to move down that path. there are those in p'yongyang who are committed to retaining nuclear weapons. >> i do not see any -- i cannot imagine why north korea would not consider going down the path they're going because of recent experiences.
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it does not sound like we have much of a way to deter that. i have not heard anybody speak to how we do that. other than china. sounds like they're the only ones that have any cards that are worth playing here. other than something i think our country does not want to engage in at this time. it seems to me that the entire issue around north korea is not us but china. and i wonder if you might speak to that. >> i was -- i would look to my colleagues. it is a failed economy. north korea now with the additional sanctions, there are three sections in play with this morning's. they are having consequences. when that leadership realizes they're not getting the funds necessary to sustain their lifestyle there will be pressure at a higher level. beside the provinces that are not getting much of the benefits because it is a two- state system.
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pyongyang feels they're having problems sustaining, i imagine there would be leadership to change and take some of the pressure off and to live as a prestige. one has to wonder how they will survive to the mid term. >> there is one time in my experience in which i observed the chinese on the cusp of making a strategic decision to change its relationship and that was in october 2006 after the first test. the first nuclear test was a profound shock. it was a profound shock in the region and it was internationally giving the risk to the non-proliferation regime itself.
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within a couple of days of that test, condoleezza rice was asked to go to the recent -- region and asked me to go with her. we stop in japan and in japan, the focus of prime minister shinzo abe, the foreign minister also, was on the reassurance of the japanese public that the united states would stand by its security commitments and explicitly restate its nuclear guarantee to japan. what is interesting is when we got to beijing, the first thing the chinese did was think as for reaffirming our security and our nuclear guarantees to japan. what china was concerned about was unclear dynamic. it was the dynamic of the possibility of japan and south korea going nuclear in that context. that was the only time that there seemed to be a prospect, a
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window of opportunity for getting china to change its policy. this is the first time that china went along with the u.n. security council resolution which had real sanctions. 1718. china offered to work with us to implement those sanctions including denying the luxury goods for the elites of north korea. but it was not too long after that that china went right back to its comfort zone and did not challenge the north korea provocation and it did that in the context of the united states and others releasing pressure on north korea. instead of increasing pressure, we released pressure. we did that because of the false prospect of negotiations. the false promise that north korea would stand -- come back
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to the negotiating table and it did. only to start once again this cycle of negotiations, provocations, concessions, and failure to live up to its obligations. i do not know what is going to take to get china to change its assessment. china has many reasons for supporting north korea. the concern about what happens with unification, concern about refugees coming over the border. it is going to take a real concerted effort and it is offering to take pressure on the part of the united states and china to change. more dialogue about the six party talks is not going to do it. we're going to have to decide whether this is important enough to us that we put some pressure on china to change its policy but even if china changes its policy that will be a very important step for getting north korea to alter course but that is not enough either.
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we need a comprehensive strategy to deal with this. >> thank you. >> thank you. let me follow up on that important point. i asked a version of this question to special representative davies. i tend to agree that possibly the only thing that brings the chinese to the table is the fear that there becomes a nuclear arms race in the region and we throw around the inevitability of nuclear arms races in the middle east and that sector of the world without term understanding of all the barriers that would stand in the way of that happening. particularly in a place where we hold a lot of cards with the other players in the region. you may be just answered this but you talk about applying real pressure to china but without china feeling that they lose control of the nuclear
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situation in the region, what cards do we have to play there and the second question is, is there any chance that we do lose control of the nuclear capabilities in the region? is there any real chance that the japanese and the south koreans do change their disposition and decide to remove themselves from our nuclear umbrella and develop their own capacities, or is that not realistic? >> senator, i am taking your second question first. i think there is a chance that if we fail with north korea, and if we do not demonstrate through both our declaratory policy and our capacity in both the nuclear area as well as the missile defense area, there is a likelihood that japan will overcome its long term allergy about nuclear-weapons.
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and begin to hedge. south korea also very much a concern about proliferation in the future if we fail. if we fail with north korea. in terms of what cards we have to play with china, there are not an easy ones. if there were easy ones i think it would have played them by now. this has been going on for 20 years. i think we have to make the assessment whether or not this issue, the issue of north korea and china pose a continuing support, continuing lifeline of assistance to north korea, is sufficiently important to us that we begin to put economic pressure on china, that we began to call out china for its part in sustaining what is most -- the most abhorrent to regime in the world today.
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there are a number of things that we can do but up until today we have been more interested in china's role as a facilitator in the six party talks. that does not get as to where we need to be with china. >> do you agree that the thing that china fears most is the nuclear arms race and whether that is a concern? >> is that their primary concern? >> it is one of several concerns. they are concerned about north korea. with the united states and i
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think it has been made clear to them that north korea policy is not a pit of that relationship. it is very important to that relationship. they have very many points of interest at play here. i think we sometimes make the mistake of thinking that china is somehow a policy monolith in which problems are fed and solutions come out. one of the things i came away with dealing with this problem convinced of is that the chinese are of various lines of how to deal with north korea. there is no single fuel and is something that is debated and addressed within the policy circles of north korea. within the government, the party, and the so-called think- tank world. they do not have a solution for these concerns. they recognize the nature of these problems. it is something they have to deal with. they also understand how complicated and how many different points of interest in china our concern about possible outcomes in north korea
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are. that includes the party, the military, and the government. >> thank you. >> thank you. and thank you to all the panelists for being here. i am sorry i missed the earlier part of the hearing. i appreciate your insights into what is happening in north korea. nice to welcome you here. i want to follow-up on the proliferation issues that have been raised because it seems to me that given the past history, given their efforts to help syria building nuclear weapons facility, that we may not know exactly what we do not know about what china -- north korea is doing with respect to proliferation efforts.
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i wondered how comfortable each of you are with where our knowledge of what is happening with respect to north korea and proliferation might be right now. and if you can elaborate on exactly what we now about that. >> can i just comment briefly, i look to my colleagues and you mentioned syria. that was in many ways a week of call for many. that was going on for a number of years and until the israelis took it out in 2007, that was almost going operational. nuclear proliferation is so central to the issue of the nuclear station for north korea and that drives china and everyone else but china is a neighbor and ally. if there is any instability, what would happen with nuclear weapons or fissile material? we know the element of the
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potential of nuclear terrorism. there is -- this is a central issue to why denuclearization has to be part of the goals and objectives. it is not arms control. it is denuclearization. proliferation is central. >> anything either of you would like to add about what we know about those efforts? >> i would only add that as a longtime consumer of intelligence, i have been impressed on the one hand by how hard our intelligence community works on north korea but i have been impressed by what a difficult target north korea is. i think their ability, their capacity for surprise is not limitless, it is greater than we might expect. >> i come at this from a non- proliferation expect -- perspective. that is my expertise if i have
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expertise. clearly, north korea has been the no. 1 proliferators. it is a serial proliferators. we know from its missile sales and the transfer of missile technology to a number of countries. we know it from the syrian experience and providing a plutonium reactor to syria. north korea will sell what it has. i am very concerned not only about state proliferation relationships but also as the ambassador mentioned, the non- state and access through north korea to fissile material and weapons. it is a hard intelligence problem. and we have been subject to a number of strategic surprises in this area. despite knowing how hard the intelligence community works on this problem, i also share the sense that there is a lot we simply do not know and we need to be prepared for the worst based on north korea's experience.
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>> you have dashed my hopes to be reassured. as we enter another round of sanctions, how can we be more successful at implementing those sanctions in a way that really has real impact on north korea, because maya understanding is that today, we have had a rather sporadic success at implementing the sanctions. >> we have to start with the realization of the reality. sanctions by themselves are not going to solve this problem. sanctions can make life even more difficult for north korea. sanctions can force north korea to contemplate issues they might not have contemplated without them. sanctions are not the solution to this problem. it is part of the solution. sanctions have the effect of making us confident where we are doing something, we're not sitting here passively and waiting for divine intervention of this problem. we're taking some action but we should not be under any
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illusions that sanctions are going to solve this problem. >> i would look to the ambassador joseph and i do not disagree. i will say what we saw today was china part of this new un security council resolution. it is indicative of the fact that china is saying what is going on here? when we have the countries coming together whether it is proliferations or going after the banking system or the diplomats and how to move money, that is causing pain. is that going to be the answer? that is not the answer as such but it is part of a process to
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tell north korea you have to change your behavior. you need to come back to the table and you need to commit to denuclearization. >> just to add to my colleague's comments with which i certainly agree. sanctions will only work and they have limited impact. there will work in the context of a broader strategy. we have to put these various instruments together and that has been lacking. what has also been lacking is a sustained effort. when we have made a difference, when we have created pain and the bank experience is apt here. when we have put pressure on the north, we have allowed that pressure to be released and we have done that through this
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false and fanciful promise of negotiations. negotiations will only work if we apply pressure and that is one thing we learned from the libyan experience. it was not you get into negotiations and release the pressure this is negotiating 101 but time after time, republican and democratic administrations made the same fundamental mistake. we hope north korea will change. we ignore our experience for the sake of hope. >> thank you. i am out of time. i would love to follow-up and see how that fits with what is being proposed on iran but that is a different topic. thank you. >> thank you for your very insightful comments and answers to questions on a very
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challenging but important national security and national interest issue before the committee and before our country. with the thanks of the committee, the committee's record will remain open until the close of business tomorrow and with that, the hearing is adjourned. >> thank you. >> the son and holds a meeting on gun-control and then -- the senate holds a meeting on gun- control than the un security council on north korea. the senate foreign relations committee examines policy towards north korea. coming up on the next washington journal, a discussion on the newest un security sanctions against north korea.
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the public trustee for medicare will be here to talk about the expansion of the medication program -- the medicaid program under the new health-care law, and report examining the commuting habits of americans. life every morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> abigail's letters have been in print since 1840. they went through four editions in 1840's. she was a best-seller through the 19th century. >> our conversation with historians about abigail adams is now available on our web site.
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the senate judiciary committee passed a bill on gun trafficking, largely along party lines. the legislation toughens penalties for those who buy guns for people who cannot legally owned them. the committee began a debate on the assault weapons ban. this is an hour and 40 minutes. >> good morning. we can get going.
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first off, i want to thank senator paul for having a filibuster. we kept everyone in town so we could have a quorum to talk about guns. that may not have been his number one reason to do it, but we take ancillary benefits from wherever they come from. last week we talked about legislation from the committee. we gave our speeches. i hope we can make significant progress. earlier i was joined by senator collins, senator durbin, senator relevant, senator kirk. others have joined us.
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i will offer a substitute the reagan are -- a substitute. for those who can pass a background check, then they can hand it to criminals. they circumvent the purpose of the background check system, and we have found many who abuse guns the gang members could not have the box.
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strong purchasing is done to get a gun in the hands of someone. i think we need a meaningful solution to this problem. this includes sanctions, and we will give law enforcement more affective. a number of changes and suggestions from senator grassley. we have been working on this. they have reached across the aisle to other senators.
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senator grassley has been the lead senator in whistleblower legislation, was a a.t.f. whistleblower, who testified last congress that the existing laws are toothless and they can help law enforcement -- can't help law enforcement, and that's why law enforcement consistently has called for firearms trafficking statute that can be effective and go after straw purchasers. we need now is to create better law enforcement tools. and i think this will -- the senators can join together on this will close a very dangerous loophole in the law that mexican drug cartels and gangs and other criminals have exploited for too long. stop illegal trafficking the firme arms act is important. this week -- the firearms act is important. this week the "usa today" ran a front page story about a study that estimates gun violence costs americans $12 billion, $12 billion a year. i don't care whether it's $12
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billion or $10 billion or $2 billion, we ought to do what we can in this committee to mitigate those unnecessary costs. i want to yield to senator grassley and then we'll take -- i think we have four or five nominees prepared to go forward. senator grassley. >> i would like to suggest three steps here. one would be to take care of the nominations. the other one i have an issue that i'd like to just make a statement on. and then i have a general statement on the -- this whole issue of the four different bills, and i would like to have any of my members that want to make statements just before you bring up the legislation and then have debate on the legislation.
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>> obviously i'll give time -- i think we tried last week to get as many of those statements, including mine and yours, out of the way, but naturally i'll yield to people who wish to make statements. some are going down for the bill signing, and others i do not want to lose a quorom. go ahead. >> as you can see from the absence on my side except for maybe three of the newer members, we all have people that have responsibilities in other committees. that's why i bring that up. let me say that we are able to, i think, unless one of my members want a vote on -- members want a vote on alahandros i think we can do all the nominations by voice vote. why don't we do that first? >> you want a roll call? >> we do not need a roll call now i have been informed by that one member. >> i would -- why don't we -- i
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appreciate your cooperation. i would ask consent that we consider sherry shapell, michael j. mcshane, nitza al handrow, lee wuse strapo and jeffrey schmell, we consider enplanning, all of those in favor say aye. opposed? the ayes will be unanimous. and shapell, mcshane,al handrow, strapo and schmell. >> following up on that i would like to bring up something you brought up yesterday at a hearing i very much appreciate your bringing up. and that is at the oversight hearing with general holder
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there was a significant discussion about the oil sea memoranda regarding targeting killings americans abroad. chairman leahy and i wrote to president obama on february 7, one month ago, asking that he instruct the attorney general to provide these memoranda to the judiciary committee. i don't think -- at least i haven't, i don't think the chairman's received a response. i wanted to highlight a statement that chairman leahy made to general holder yesterday regarding the possibility that this committee subpoena the documents. i want everybody, both republican and democrat, to know i fully support the chairman in this effort and would urge that absence a response from the president that we move forward with a vote on subpoena for these memoranda in the near future. then i'll go to my statement. i'm nod asking you to comment, but at least you know how i feel about it. but i think you feel strongly about it or you wouldn't have
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brought it up. >> i also spoke again with the attorney general now going into private conversation, i think that he's -- he would like us to be able to see that and i think the decision we remains within the white house. i'm sorry they haven't even responded to our letter, but if need be we will subpoena because it is a matter, and we are going to have, for those of you who weren't there at the hearing when we talked about this, we are going to have a hearing on domestic use of droughns in this committee -- drones in this committee.
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it would be helpful to have that, helpful but not necessary to have that letter prior to that time, but we are going to have many of you on both sides of the aisle have raised concerns about the domestic use of drones and we will have a significant hearing on that. thank you. >> the committee and subcommittee have held three hearings and legislation related to our purpose of voting bills out today. while i believe that addressing violent -- violence requires examining more than guns, guns were the near exclusive focus of those hearings and will be the near exclusive focus of the bills the committee sees fit to mark up. all of us were strongly affected by what happened in newtown. all of us want to take effective action to prevent future tragedies, but we have different deeply held approaches to do so. what we are talking about today is freedom, freedom not only guaranteed by the constitution but what the supreme court recognized as a pre-existing right of self-defense.
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individuals do not need the government's permission to defend themselves. today gun violence rates are at the lowest level in 50 years. this is a tremendous accomplishment. there are many reasons for it, including longer incarceration of dangerous criminals, abolition of parole, and police practices. this drop in gun violence has occurred even as there are more guns in the country than ever before. it has occurred after the supreme court has found the second amendment to be a fundamental right, and after many states have increased the ability of law- abiding citizens to own guns. the drop has also occurred despite any new federal gun control enactment in almost 20 years. but a majority of the committee seems determined to impose more gun restrictions on law-abiding citizens. consider the assault weapons ban. this bill represents the biggest gun ban proposal in our history. a similar ban was enacted in 1994.
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and the justice department's own studies failed to show that the ban had any effect. some of my colleagues speak, we invite demonled rumsfeld on this point and i quote him, absent of evidence isn't evidence of absence. but the assault weapon ban did not work. and just this year the deputy director of the national institute of justice wrote that, quote, an assault weapons ban is unlikely to have an impact on gun violence. but rather than trying something different, the first bill on the agenda is an assault weapons ban. it is based on how guns look not the damage they do. and ar-15 is prohibited while a mini 14 is exempt because one has a wooden stock and the other a plastic one. other guns that are more powerful than prohibited guns are exempted. the gun that -- guns that it bans are not ones that are used
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in the military. as they are semiautomatic. they are in common use. and banning large capacity magazines last fails a rational basis scrutiny when the bill exempts a class of shotguns that can be continuously reloaded. the bill is not like passing a law that criminalizes speeding. it is like banning the manufacturer of cars with hood ornaments from having the capacity of exceeding 65 miles per hour while exempting trucks from the same requirement. at the hearings the justice department did not endorse a specific ban, but said that nonetheless that a ban could be constitutional. they did not suggestion what level of scrutiny courts would apply to a bill with second amendment implications. they also said that they would develop an analysis of the bill's constitutionality, but it speaks volumes when we are
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about to mark up such a bill and that analysis is not forthcoming. i think it is necessary to point out that had this bill been law at the time, sandy hook still would have happened. it would not have stopped a mentally disturbed person while stealing a gun that this bill would have not banned from his mother and then shooting unharmed children at a school for several minutes before police arrived. on background checks without notice we were given an entirely new bill late yesterday. i know the sponsor says that he does not intend to create a national gun registry, and i accept that as his intent. i would just say that the deputy director of n.i.j. recently wrote that universal background checks can be enforced only if there is gun registration. i note that at the hearings some stated that criminals are foiled from buying guns because they do not go to gun stores to buy guns.
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they recognize that prohibited persons do not now submit the background checks although they obtain guns which is why they want to expand checks. but they fail to recognize that criminals won't be any more likely to submit to expanded background checks than they are currently. they will go around supposedly universal checks to steal guns or buy them in the black market. when the universal background checks don't work, then registration will be proposed to enforce them. when that doesn't work, because criminals won't register their guns, we may be looking at confiscation. there is a refusal to consider that gun control of law-abiding citizens does not work. if gun control worked, we would expect to see that places with stricter gun laws would have less crime than those where it was easier for law-abiding citizens to have guns. instead, law-abiding citizens obey the laws and criminals don't.
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and those areas with gun control often have more crime. under federalism, state and local -- localities are laboratories of experimentation. results of different approaches come in and then the federal government learns which laws work better than others as it considers national legislation. but that is not what is argued for gun control. we are asked to adopt nationally the policies that have not worked at the state and local level. we are told that poor results in places with gun control are due to more lenient gun rules elsewhere in the have a sinity -- vicinity, but if that were true one would expect more crime in the suburbs where guns are lawfully available than cities where there are not. and the states where guns are not easily able to be purchased than in states where they are not. however, this is not the case. restrictions on gun rights of law-abiding citizens do not work.
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again, rather than trying to approach a different approach, supporters of gun control not only want to double down on failed strategy, they want to impose on the nation as a whole despite the second amendment. i do think that action can be taken on gun trafficking and straw purchasing, but because those are actions by criminals and occur across state lines, i am glad that we have a bill on that subject on the agenda. i appreciate the efforts of the chairman and other senators to be receptive to changes to the original legislation. and when that bill comes up, i'll speak about that. the final bill on the agenda is school safety bill. that bill originally had an enormous cost at time when we were were